American workers and those seeking employment will be forced to carry a new biometric National ID card at all times or face arrest, according to a new “mandatory national identification system” hidden deep in a 400-page House bill introduced in January.
Inserted in the sweeping House bill called “Securing America’s Future Act of 2018,” the establishment of a mandatory biometric National ID card “for all Americans” has privacy activists and libertarians sounding alarms.
Introduced by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, H.R. 4760 is a wide-ranging bill that encompasses issues such as education, Homeland Security and the military. Buried deep in the 400-page legislation is the new “mandatory national identification system” which will force American citizens to carry a government-approved ID containing “biometric features.”
The bill states that “anyone employed or seeking employment” must have the card and carry it at all times, or risk arrest.
According to the proponents of the bill, the new measures will make Americans “safer“.
The purpose of the measure, part of the legislative solution to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, is to curb illegal immigration. It specifically addresses the shortcomings of the E-Verify system, which has failed to catch an estimated 54 percent of illegal immigrant workers.
However critics of the new draconian measure, including Ron Paul, are quoting Benjamin Franklin, saying “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.“
“Your papers, please”
Ron Paul, the former Republican lawmaker known for his libertarian views, has launched a campaign against the national ID through his non-profit Campaign for Liberty, including an online petition that is going viral.
Paul, writing to his supporters, declared the proposed ID card “is exactly the type of battle that often decides whether a country remains free or continues sliding toward tyranny.”
Rep. Goodlatte and his staff at the House Judiciary Committee, which he chairs, have so far failed to respond to questions regarding the privacy concerns.
Proponents of the measure argue American workers are already required to provide a Social Security number, which is part of a national database, and emphasize the benefits of curbing illegal immigration for American workers and taxpayers and the nation’s security.
But critics of the new legislation, including Ron Paul, say the national database supporting the cards “could expand to include American citizens’ gun ownership status, religious beliefs, political affiliation and virtually anything else at the stroke of a President’s pen.”
The biometric identification information on the cards, Paul warns, which could include “fingerprints, retinal scans, or scans of veins on the back of hands,” could easily be used as a tracking device.
Paul noted that the law would require all employers to purchase an ID scanner to verify the cards, and he fears that it would be only a matter of time before ID scans would be required for routine purchases.
This is a dangerous tool in the hands of any government, and it needs to be stopped. We have seen evidence of government overreach this week, as the FISA Abuse scandal unravels. We do not need to give governments more opportunity to become tyrannical.