Branco cartoon with Obama defeating traditional America
The immigration bill will greatly expand the e-verify system through a Department of Homeland Security nationwide computer network. The ACLU and the EFF are very concerned about the system’s possible intrusion on privacy rights and the added possibility that a National ID Card system will be the end result.
The immigration bill specifically forbids the establishment of a National ID card but opponents say that the system allows for the review of biometric data on most Americans and essentially sets up a National ID card system without a card.
The DHS system won’t be a stand-alone computer system but rather it will access driver’s license records including photos and other biometric data (fingerprints for example) already available online to verify the identity of new employees.
Photos fall into the category of biometric data because of the distinct physiological features photos contain, especially now that we are moving towards Iris scans and facial recognition.
When an employer wants to verify the ID of a new employee, the network will ping other agencies for the information. DHS will only log the calls, not keep the information, but they will have the dreaded metadata records.
Currently, e-verify does not include photos and other biometric data. The new biometric data that will be collected will be on new immigrants only in an effort to stop illegal immigration.
An employer who enrolls in the system now calls Social Security and asks if the Social Security number of a job applicant is valid. Social Security only verifies the number and can’t verify that the number belongs to the applicant. It is a useless system.
Opponents are worried that our records can be accessed by other government agencies. That might not be a valid concern since it is information already available online, but then again, we know what happened recently with the IRS. They targeted certain individuals and then notified other agencies such as the FBI and the Labor Department to target these same individuals as well. This system could make it a lot easier to share and strike.
The new biometric data being collected is for immigrants, primarily to conduct criminal background checks. However, every new employee will be run through the system.
More than 212 million or us already carry driver’s licenses with our photos on them. Many of us want photo ID’s for voting.
A National ID Card for everyone might not be a problem but given the antics of our IRS and our DOJ, people are fearful and concerns are bipartisan. Including biometric data is very intrusive. There isn’t a thing we will keep private from the government.
Marco Rubio and others in Congress have said they are open to amendments that deal with any privacy concerns.
What I don’t understand is why we can’t do this without this massive immigration bill that gives amnesty to untold millions of foreigners who have come here illegally.
Read more at the NY Times