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US Immigration Bill May Bring a National Biometric ID Card

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the fighting-aliens-with-bits-of-plastic dept.

Government 619

schwit1 sends this quote from the Wall Street Journal: "Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain. Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal US workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker. ... A person familiar with the legislative planning said the biometric data would likely be either fingerprints or a scan of the veins in the top of the hand. It would be required of all workers, including teenagers, but would be phased in, with current workers needing to obtain the card only when they next changed jobs, the person said. The card requirement also would be phased in among employers, beginning with industries that typically rely on illegal-immigrant labor."

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Papers Please! (5, Insightful)

Nesman64 (1093657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412830)

I must see your papers.

Re:Papers Please! (3, Insightful)

Xiph (723935) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412940)

Wonderful how only the workers need ID-card.
Maybe Benito Mussolini was on to something with the comparisons between corporatism and fascism, now you'll find out in USA.

Re:Papers Please! (4, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413068)

It's you need an ID card to work. "They" want to disenfranchise you, they deny you an ID card. Then you can't work. No work, no money. No money, you become disenfranchised. Then you don't exist.

Re:Papers Please! (-1, Troll)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413202)

Then you can't work. No work, no money. No money, you become disenfranchised

No, then you just start receiving Government handouts and they know you'll vote Democrat for the rest of your life.....

How's that hope and change working out for you anyway? It seems to me that the Democrats are just as effective as the Republicans at taking away our civil liberties.

Re:Papers Please! (5, Insightful)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413296)

Ummm...actually, that's exactly what they want to do. They want to force employers to only hire people with "papers". The idea being that illegal immigrants can't get "papers" and will therefore be unable to work. It's actually a two phased plan. They require employees to have this ID card, they also require employers to check that employees have said ID card and are verified to work in the US. It's currently difficult to prove that an employer knowingly hired someone who isn't allowed to work in the US. This allows the government to prove that employers didn't check their employees worker status, which is far easier to prosecute.

The ultimate goal is that illegal immigrants won't be allowed to work here. The unfortunate side effect is that immigration is going to be even more of a nightmare for people who are legal to work in the US. And suddenly, many Americans are going to find themselves having to get lawyers and work out paperwork when their cards don't come up valid, or they lose them, etc.

Re:Papers Please! (2, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412952)

While I applaud the idea of FINALLY starting to do something about illegal migrant workers in this country, I do not favor a national ID card. It is bad enough that they try to use SS as one, but, I do not want a sanctioned national id.

Sure, they'll start off requiring it ONLY for workers, but I'm sure they'll soon find creative ways to use it. I'm sure you can use it then to check for flight access. How about with cashing checks or even credit cards, nifty way to track purchases....maybe even stores will start to want to use it too as a replacement for courtesy cards, nice way to track what you're buying. Hey, that might even work with nationalized health care, I mean we can now see that you buy WAY too much alcohol and cigarettes, I think we'll withold some of that care from you due to life choices.

Yep, I'm sure the govt types will be able to come up with new, nifty ways to use a national id....in so many ways to help our poor law enforcement community. At the very least, you might even could use them to safeguard who logs onto the internet..?

Wow! (2, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413120)

flight access [...] cashing checks or even credit cards [...]to track purchases [...] replacement for courtesy cards [...] health care, I mean we can now see that you buy WAY too much alcohol and cigarettes [...]the govt types will be able to come up with new, nifty ways to use a national id

Wow - just WOW. You are aware that with the exception of "national health care", EVERYTHING you mentioned would be done by private businesses, right? And if idiots like you get their way and there is no "national health care", private insurance companies could use it the same way, right?

Don't get me wrong - such an ID is a horrible idea - but it's a horrible idea because it will be abused by corporations.

(Yes, I know - all the libertardians will now proceed to mod me down and talk about how the invisible market fairy will make it all better.)

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413246)

Re-read and decided that it wasn't worth the mod up (posting to correct), due to the trolling comment at the end, and the apparent lack of understanding that corporations aren't the only abusers of civil liberties - governments (including ours) have been known to abuse them as well.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413276)

(Yes, I know - all the libertardians will now proceed to mod me down and talk about how the invisible market fairy will make it all better.)

Is this the same Invisible market fairy that gave the financial industries a not-so-invisible hand job because "self regulation" doesn't work for greedy heartless bastards?

Re:Papers Please! (5, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413146)

Sure, they'll start off requiring it ONLY for workers

That's not really an "ONLY", is it? The British government started off requiring them only for international (non-EU, IIRC) students and air-side airport workers. (The students is because there are loads of international students registered on fake courses at fake universities.)

There are some useful arguments here [liberty-hu...hts.org.uk] and here [no2id.net] .

Re:Papers Please! (2, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413384)

do something about illegal migrant workers in this country

Yeah, we need to get rid of all those people harvesting the food we eat. That will fix everything!

Tracking of work? Nothing new (0, Troll)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413016)

The biggest objections to the biometric cards may come from privacy advocates, who fear they would become de facto national ID cards that enable the government to track citizens.

Tracking citizens of what, their work? We already do that. Before you can get a job (legally anyhow) you need to provide your social security number. The problem with this - your card has no biometrics (pictures, fingerprints, etc) - so you can steal someones social security card and then use that to gain work...which is not what we want. It's actually a huge issue and there have been many cases where illegal immigrants use stolen social security numbers from dead people (or living people who had their id's compromised). This will help curtail that identity theft.

This is nothing more then putting a "picture" on your social security card.

Re:Tracking of work? Nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413110)

Of course it's more than that. When you get a job you're already required to provide identification both of your eligibility to work and your identity (A photo ID in combination with SSN/birth certificate or a passport).

This is more by definition. If it is the same or less, it wouldn't be done.

Re:Tracking of work? Nothing new (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413242)

Of course it's more than that. When you get a job you're already required to provide identification both of your eligibility to work and your identity (A photo ID in combination with SSN/birth certificate or a passport).

This may have some kind of verification to make sure the ID was properly checked. Many places only check your social security card...that has no form of actual identification. Are you sure it's the law you have to show a photo id currently? Birth certificate is absolutely not required. Each city, & state and employer is different. Two jobs ago I had to provide a photo copy of my naturalization certificate (though the second HR person said I had to bring it in to show it to her, because a photo copy from her predecessor wasn't proof enough...which shows inconsistencies). This was in addition to my license and social security card. My last job? Social security card and license. I am pretty sure the license was more for the employer then for the gov't (i would have to do some driving so needed a license). My current job - they just needed to check to see who i am and run a background check (not gov't required, just a company process).

THe point is - there are tons of inconsistencies, and through all of my employers (large and small, in NJ, PA, DE, and various cities/counties in those areas) they have all been different. I used to work in retail banking while in college and they had to get me bonded (all bank employees must do this)....i only had to provide social and drivers license.

Why they don't require some kind of photo on a soc card is beyond me...it would help reduce ID theft...and your social card is one of the most difficult ID types for you to get changed, and it is so integral in your life (credit, social security benefits, and more)

Re:Tracking of work? Nothing new (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413172)

The problem with this - your card has no biometrics (pictures, fingerprints, etc) - so you can steal someones social security card and then use that to gain work...which is not what we want.

Uhmm... Using a stolen SSN to get a job... Wouldn't that mean the social security benefits aquired over the years in that job would be credited to the original owner of that number?

Re:Tracking of work? Nothing new (5, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413268)

Uhmm... Using a stolen SSN to get a job... Wouldn't that mean the social security benefits aquired over the years in that job would be credited to the original owner of that number?

And the income taxes that would be owed for said income....

This whole thing is pointless anyway. Does Congress really live in a fantasy land where illegal immigrants are hired to positions where they supply SSNs, drivers licenses, etc? In my experience the vast majority of businesses employing illegal labor do so by paying them in cash. "Come work with us for a day putting up drywall, there's a few sawbucks in it for you." No amount of biometrics will stop this.

Re:Tracking of work? Nothing new (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413354)

ah ok. weh have tax-numbers for that...

Re:Tracking of work? Nothing new (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413360)

Tracking citizens of what, their work? We already do that. ... This is nothing more then putting a "picture" on your social security card.

Which is exactly the problem. Read to one of the other posters on the same level as you. He describes "other" uses for this card, like stores and other government agencies tracking non-work related things. It's not entirely crazy that a national ID card will be used for far more than simply track work. Look at the social security card that you cite. It was never intended to be a national ID number, but it's become one, not just for the government, but for most businesses as well.

Re:Papers Please! (1)

metus (89675) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413090)

*hand wave*
These are not the Illegal Immigrants you're looking for.

Re:Papers Please! (0)

Reikk (534266) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413112)

Shit, the price of grapes is going to skyrocket!

Re:Papers Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413184)

HAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAA!
Oranges and Tomatos too!

OT: invisible man (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413134)

The invisible man is blind. If light passes through a body without being affected, then it cannot be properly refracted

Wells [gutenberg.org] was too smart for you: "I went and stared at nothing in my shaving-glass, at nothing save where an attenuated pigment still remained behind the retina of my eyes, fainter than mist."

Re:Papers Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413338)

Nice. ID.
It takes you across borders. Makes it possible to vote. Makes more people pay their taxes (instead of just you), because employers and banks are requested to identify you for who you really am. And I am proud to be me.
Can we offer you the euro as well? Our experience with it are pleasant, just like with the ID card.

Another card? (4, Insightful)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412836)

Why do we need another card? Seems to me that identity thieves have enough things to use already.

Re:Another card? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412948)

Don't worry, the UK government has been pushing for this for years. Technically it already exists, and about 5 volunteers have signed up for it. On the other hand, while certain groups have IIRC already been forced to have one, other test groups have outright rejected it.

With an election coming up, I haven't seen a single reference in favour of ID cards from the Labour lot who are in power at the moment, and both the other big parties have said they will scrap the scheme. It's become a political nightmare for the government.

FWIW, the really insidious thing here in the UK isn't actually the cards, it's the all-in-one database that is behind them. Curiously, the Conservatives (who are likely to win power later this year) seem to have been a bit quiet about that.

Re:Another card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413096)

Don't worry, the UK government has been pushing for this for years

So what? In Germany we'll get digital IDs by the end of the year. These things are very real and many countries already have them or will get them in the near future.

Biometrics will include a standardised photo and fingerprints. The latter being voluntary ... for now.

Planned usage scenarios are online shopping and identification towards commercial entities and government offices/agencies, etc..

Re:Another card? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412974)

1. Implement socialism
2. Immigration subsequently becomes a problem
3. Implement national biometric identification card
4. Slide into a police state.
5. ?
6. Profit for the inner party.

Re:Another card? (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412976)

Perhaps because the existing cards don't cover and weren't designed for this particular application, and using the driver's licence would be stupid?

Re:Another card? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413204)

using the driver's licence would be stupid?

Especially for people who can't drive for whatever reason.

Re:Another card? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413008)

If the cards have decent security features, there is at least a chance that they would make it a lot easier to blame the financial institution when they opened an account for someone using a fake card.

I like this idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412844)

I don't see a problem with this. It doesn't infringe upon our rights at all.

Re:I like this idea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412894)

Mr. Cheney, we've advised you in the past to stop trolling internet forums!

Ornlu (1)

Ornlu (1706502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412848)

Over my cold dead body.

Re:Ornlu (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412874)

Ok, it's not like you have to work...

Bullshit (4, Funny)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412854)

Ain't gonna happen.

Papers please! (3, Informative)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412856)

Seriously though...this idea would likely work just as it is being advertised, but the privacy implications of this are astounding. Then again, we only have the illusion of privacy at this point here in the US, so we may as well stop fooling ourselves....

Remember kids, privacy != freedom

Re:Papers please! (1)

scrib (1277042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413038)

It would work until someone managed to fake it, or bribe the people checking them, or an employer hires someone "under the table."

I know privacy != freedom, but remember:
(freedom - privacy) != freedom

Re:Papers please! (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413080)

I posted this yesterday in a different story, but it seems appropriate for this one as well:

http://haacked.com/images/TerroristsHateFreedom.gif [haacked.com]

Re:Papers please! (2, Insightful)

scrib (1277042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413280)

Love the link!

I think US lawmakers have forgotten the Declaration of Independence: "ALL men are ... endowed ... with certain unalienable rights..." Infringing on the rights of US citizens just so you can infringe on the rights of non-US citizens even more is tragically misguided.

Re:Papers please! (1)

Ornlu (1706502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413092)

The ACLU's already been campaigning against it for years: http://www.aclu.org/pizza/ [aclu.org] Yes, the potential privacy violations are astounding. Yes, a national ID is a terrible idea. Yes, it's unconstitutional.

Re:Papers please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413224)

If they're going to track us, I want to be able to track them. I demand full transparency in the government. Seems fair.

Not with Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412878)

I find this hard to believe. Obama already gets enough grief about not being right wing enough even though he's as right wing as Bush 2. Patriot Act, torturing people to death, and all that. The NRA went nuts since he's a socialist and guns and ammo started selling before his nonexistant gun ban. If Obama tried this, the right wing would just completely shut down. Look at how much they shut down the government already. Doing this is pretty dangerous for any president even with the terrorist as a ready made excuse.

Re:Not with Obama (3, Insightful)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412950)

I find this hard to believe. Obama already gets enough grief about

Obama's not in the senate. He hasn't been in the senate since he became president. This proposal is in the senate. Stop obama bashing.

Just because Schumer is meeting with Obama does not mean Obama is responsible for this idea. According ot the article, a source in the white house said they have no official stance.

Personally, this is the first time I have seen the democrats sell something properly. They are targetting this towards everyone, but their language is focusing on immigrants. Republicans are against national IDs, but they are more likely to be for it when we start throwing out the words "immigrants"

Re:Not with Obama (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413070)

I'm pretty danged left wing myself, but Obama isn't much different than the last. It's like Batman, same character, different actor.

national ID (3, Insightful)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412880)

This is a National ID card. Call it what it is and be done with it, don't try to hide it as part of an immigration bill.

Re:national ID (1)

timlyg (266415) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413078)

which one? the first one or the second one? I'm getting a little confused now...

Block the foreign programmers. (1)

Singularity42 (1658297) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412882)

They are taking our jobs!

Re:Block the foreign programmers. (1)

gtarget (1360439) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413072)

They are taking our jobs!

Dey took hiz job!

Meh (3, Insightful)

Alarindris (1253418) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412890)

Who wants to bet that employers will just have a paper form to check off that they looked at your card rendering all the bio stuff useless?

The only reason I mention that is because a social security card is also 'required' for employment, although I lost mine when I was a kid and have never shown it to any of my employers.

I tell them I forgot it and they never ask again.

Re:Meh (1)

jav27 (603992) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413258)

no, that will not happen. The requirement is not just to show the card. the requirement is to SCAN the card in the reader. Every employer will have to submit electronically the results of the scan to DHS as proof that the employees are authorized to work.

Re:Meh (3, Informative)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413328)

A social security card is not required. It can be used as a "List C" document for the I9 form.

http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/backgroundcheck/a/background_2.htm [about.com]

I simply use my passport since it's a "List A" document. Which begs the question ... why is it that we need something more than that? Like this new thing is going to be "unforgeable" ?

To you hackers out there.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412892)

If this comes to pass, please hack it fast and make a big splash with it, like have a petite white chick go around as President Obama.

This ended so well in the UK... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412902)

They tried this in the UK, long story short, it costs millions and nobody has an ID card. It was also found to be completely impractical. I wish the US the best of luck with their scheme.

PS - What happens if you literally have no hands? Can you not work?

Tie this in to drivers license, and passport (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412904)

Make it so this card also has my drivers license, and passport (I assume it already has my social security since it's for work) and I am all for it. I am tired of having to to worry which ID i need to have on me. Drivers license (all the time), then passport when I fly (god help me if I forget this one), and now this?

Gov't - stop making life cumbersome. With technology we can get everything we want, on a drivers license sized ID card. It shouldn't be that hard.

Oh - and don't forget the most important thing...the persons picture.

Re:Tie this in to drivers license, and passport (1, Insightful)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413036)

hey why not add thier bank account data, IRS payment status, medical history, criminal record, fbi and other three letter agency file indices... I'm sure you could think of even more things that would make your life and the governements easier. Don't worry, next week the Senate takes up the 'lets wipe everyone's ass for them' bill.

Re:Tie this in to drivers license, and passport (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413364)

hey why not add thier bank account data, IRS payment status, medical history, criminal record, fbi and other three letter agency file indices... I'm sure you could think of even more things that would make your life and the governements easier. Don't worry, next week the Senate takes up the 'lets wipe everyone's ass for them' bill.

The gov't tracks you prett well actually. You think the gov't doesn't know your employment status, criminal record, fbi record, IRS payment status, bank account data, credit card bill, mortgage bill, car payment, phone bill, electricity usage, etc? You really honestly believe they don't already have this information on you tracking down to when you got your last parking ticket, or used EZ-pass the last time or went to an ATM machine in 2001? If you really think that then you are 110% naive.

All this bill is saying 1) Put some kind of biometric (whichi includes a picture) on your social security ID, 2) require employers to check this. Good, I have always wanted a picture on my social...that way I can worry less about it getting stolen. If they happen to put my drivers license information (probably a checkbox saying "he can drive a car"), put my passport information (probably a checkbox saying "he can leave the country") then I am all for it.

The information itself is not stored on the card (maybe my name/birthday), but an ID number on the card is linked to a database which *ALREADY* has the information.

So Lawrence, please stop with the scare tactics. The gov't knows this information about us...and as far as where you are concerned...don't worry as long as you pay your taxes the gov't couldn't care less about you.

So... (1, Flamebait)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412908)

I guess this is where we learn whether Americans hate "big gummint" or mexicans more. Based on our performances during the wars on terror, drugs, crime, pedophiles, etc. I'm guessing that the answer will be "mexicans" hands down.

Sure, there'll be some libertarians and civil libertarians who actually do prefer freedom, and some liberals(and, of course, hispanics) who don't actually hate mexicans; but the "God bless Joe Arpaio" crowd would submit to checkpoints and cavity searches in their own homes if they thought it would bring back "purity" and "real america"(how ironic...).

Re:So... (1, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412988)

That's the way it goes, and part of the reason why I turned my back on what the Republican party has become.

"Government, stay outta my life! Unless it's gay marriage, prayer in schools, pot, or mexicans. Then you need to regulate the fuck out of it!"

And they wonder why people look down on them...

To be fair, the Democrats are just as bad...the difference being that Democrats like to pretend they aren't lying to you, while Republicans lie right to your face. Either way, still lying.

hate to point this out (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412932)

Meet the new boss (administration), same as the old boss

ID Card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31412954)

Because that's exactly what we need, is to make employees at small businesses (remember, small businesses are important! Every politician says so!) go to the DMV to get scanned. You know, because the DMV moves people through so quickly...

Start with lawmakers (3, Interesting)

Josh Coalson (538042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412960)

Fine, congressmen should get the cards first. If they still like the idea after 6 years, let them try and foist it on the rest of us.

Illegal work. (1)

Ostracus (1354233) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412962)

"A person familiar with the legislative planning said the biometric data would likely be either fingerprints or a scan of the veins in the top of the hand. It would be required of all workers, including teenagers, but would be phased in, with current workers needing to obtain the card only when they next changed jobs, the person said. The card requirement also would be phased in among employers, beginning with industries that typically rely on illegal-immigrant labor.""

What about virtual companies and telecommuters were the notion of "illegal worker" doesn't really exist.

For those who are going to complain (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412970)

For those of you who are going to draw analogies to Soviet Russia, etc. and complain that this somehow violates our rights and so on: just think of all the "papers" we ALREADY have to carry in this country. A lot of fuss was made in anti-Soviet propoganda about the papers the Russians had to carry around, but try leaving your house some time in the U.S. without your driver's license, car registration, proof of insurance, etc. I'm pretty sure the cops aren't going to accept "But this is a free country!" in lieu of these if you get stopped at a roadblock.

There are privacy concerns here, but not civil liberties ones (well, no more than are raised by all the other "papers").

Re:For those who are going to complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413154)

We are required to carry a driver's license and the rest to allow us to use public roads. If you want to drive without a license nobody can stop you, just stay of public roads - drive around your private property all you want. If you want to walk or take the train, no need for a license.

This is different, you can get by without a license (it might be difficult, but it IS possible) - how are you going to survive without a job?

Re:For those who are going to complain (1)

ElSupreme (1217088) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413332)

No I would regularly ride my bike on public roads with only my health insurance information (because those 'licensed' to drive suck at it) stuffed into various parts of my bike and clothing. You only need a drivers license to operate a MOTOR vehicle (typically above 49cc) on public roads.

You would be supprised how much ground you can cover with a bicycle when it is your only mode of transportation. Even in a HOT, HILLY, and CONGESTED metro area like Atlanta.

Re:For those who are going to complain (1)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413158)

The difference is that requiring you to have a driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance helps ME if you hit me with your car. And you're entirely free to walk around or take public transportation without any kind of identification whatsoever. That's not the case in many other countries. In the US, you are only required to have (and carry) a driver's license if you want to drive. Unless there's some law I'm unaware of that requires everyone to learn how to drive, which there isn't.

Re:For those who are going to complain (1)

Zumbs (1241138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413192)

A drivers licence is a permit to drive a car. So, if you want to drive a car, you should be able to produce your permit when asked. If you walk out the door, and go on a stroll, there should be no reason to be able to produce a drivers licence. The issue here is that you need a card holding a large quantity of very private information on you, just to take a job. Furthermore, this information will have to be gathered into a big database, which suggests that it could be misused by whatever authorities can gain access to it. And once the database is there, the authorities will try to get access to it, with or without a warrent. Not to mention future employers.

Re:For those who are going to complain (1)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413330)

try leaving your house some time in the U.S. without your driver's license, car registration, proof of insurance, etc. I'm pretty sure the cops aren't going to accept "But this is a free country!" in lieu of these if you get stopped at a roadblock.

I know it's a strange concept in some bits of the USA, but you can leave your house without immediately getting into a car. ;-)

You don't need to carry anything when walking down the street, do you?

(Incidentally, an alternative to carrying those papers in the car is for the police to have access to the data on a database, like they do in the UK. Some police cars have forward-facing cameras with automatic number-plate recognition [wikipedia.org] systems, which will do OCR on the plate, then check in a database for valid insurance and whether there are any outstanding reports on the car (e.g. that the car is stolen, or was used in a crime). If there are, the screen in the car alerts the driver.)

Rather open the borders (3, Interesting)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412978)

and let in all the illegals than give those fucks in washington not only a national id card but one with biometric data. Worse than the Nazis and Soviets.

Re:Rather open the borders (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413176)

... but the US have forced the European countries to have Passports with biometric features a couple of years ago if they want to travel to the US. So I think it would be just fair to force the US citizens to use the same - although a passport is not quite the same as a national ID card, I think.

Guilty until proven innocent. (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31412992)

This is something that we need to harp on everytime the subject comes up. You cannot pass laws against illegal aliens to prevent them from working or participating in social programs, because we don't know who they are. You can only pass laws against everyone requiring them to prove they are a citizen. To require us to beg government approval before we can work or attend school, and hope there isn't a clerical error, or we never lose our papers at a bad time, or that the government won't someday extend this program to a larger scope.

There are no laws against illegal aliens, there are only laws stating that we are all assumed guilty of being illegal aliens until we prove ourselves innocent.

Branded like cattle... (1)

stakovahflow (1660677) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413010)

I have always wanted to be branded like cattle. Thankfully, our government wants this to be the case, as well. And they make it sound like a good thing? I think not...

Good luck with the revolution!

666 (3, Funny)

Ixtol (1711166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413034)

How long before people claim this as the mark of the Beast?

Guess where this card goes? (1)

lordmetroid (708723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413064)

If I get a card like this, they will simply have to look for it in the local dump. I am not going to cooperate with this program.

Well... (0, Flamebait)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413066)

This at least makes sense considering how much harm illegal immigration does to American blue collar workers. As long as I can go out in public without it and buy goods without it, I'm not going to lose much sleep over it.

I have to wonder, though, how many people who are going "oh noes... mah freedum iz under attack" would get upset if a state government suddenly abolished its concealed carry license laws and declared that any adult who can legally carry a weapon is entitled to concealed carry.

I bet it's A LOT more than most slashdotters would guess.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413216)

If citizens were willing to work on the same conditions that illegal immigrants do, they could have the same jobs.

As far as the concealed weapon thing, weapons *kill* people, directly. I don't see the analogy at all.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413380)

This at least makes sense considering how much harm illegal immigration does to American blue collar workers. As long as I can go out in public without it and buy goods without it, I'm not going to lose much sleep over it.

I have to wonder, though, how many people who are going "oh noes... mah freedum iz under attack" would get upset if a state government suddenly abolished its concealed carry license laws and declared that any adult who can legally carry a weapon is entitled to concealed carry.

I bet it's A LOT more than most slashdotters would guess.

BZZZT! Wrong, thanks for playing!

Um, which part of the 2nd Amendment authorizes ANY government to pass ANY law restricting ANY citizen from "carrying" (bearing) arms, concealed or not?

You've been brainwashed so badly, that you actually think that GOVERNMENT "allows" us to "legally" carry a weapon. Instead, the 2nd Amendment RESTRICTS Government from PREVENTING us from carrying a weapon ("concealed" or not).

why are people so emotional about this? (1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413088)

why do they talk about fascism, "papers please" and destruction of privacy and freedom?

it's just a damn national id card. do you drive? do you have a driver's license? same fucking thing. is the existence of your driver's license some sort of matrix-like conspiracy to utterly destro your individuality? no? then calm the fuck down

it's just a bizarre sort of rigid fear of the unknown, when if you have an actual functioning brain, there's no threat this card poses to anyone, anyhow

what a bunch of spastic hysterical idiots

No it's NOT the same fucking thing (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413248)

Driver's Licenses were, when initially set up, just that... a LICENSE. A piece of paper with a government seal saying you were approved to drive, just like a hunting license. No ID, no address and issued by the STATE.

A national ID, weakens the powers of the states and gives the federal government more control over your daily life... IE as in now you need papers just to seek employment and eventually to get healthcare that the government approves you to have.

As the saying goes, you can't throw a frog into a boiling cooking pot but you can sure turn up the heat over time and they won't know the difference...

But hey... chocolate rations are up.

i value my privacy and my freedom (-1, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413306)

additionally, i recognize:

1. the feds use your drivers license to the same effect they would use a national id. there's no difference. seriously. to believe there is is to be a spastic hysterical idiot

2. a drivers license, or a national id, are simply a necessary component of living in ANY society. it doesn't represent a threat to my freedom or privacy whatsoever. threats to my freedom or privacy come from laws concerning THE USE OF the id. in addition, WITHOUT a driver's license/ id, there is no way for you to access government services without filling out forms every time. it simply convenience and time and cost saving, and less bureaucracy at a national level than 50 different stupid repetitive systems

what is the fucking big deal?!

Because Privacy is the New Green (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413266)

Because kids need a cause. They don't need to UNDERSTAND a cause, or to grasp implications and both sides of the issue, they just need something to wear on their sleeves, next to the patch promoting that super-cool underground indie band only they have ever heard of.

Re:Because Privacy is the New Green (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413352)

The USA are built on a rebellion against governmental control. The limitation of control over the people is a fundamental principle, not a fad. Opposition to an ID card is the conservative point of view.

Re:why are people so emotional about this? (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413284)

I think it's because this is perceived as the "next step" in data mining about the nation's citizens. Sure they know your name, SSN, age and address now. Soon they'll have all fingerprints on file and possibly other biometric data. Why do they need it?

Re:why are people so emotional about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413294)

No, you're an irrational idiot that needs to brush up on their recent world history. There is a certain poem about "when they came for ....... " that personified an attitude a certain nation claimed was hysterical and emotional because they thought the person leading the charge was 'their deliverer'.

I find it very strange when people choose to ignore potential dangers of things like this. While they deserve what they get, I will continue to speak my mind.

Re:why are people so emotional about this? (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413348)

I don't have a car. I don't carry ID. I'm not doing anything wrong, so why should I have to prove who I am? Why should it be easier for the police to exercise power and control over people?

For the union makes us strong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413106)

Save me IWW! *runs off crying*

Not a fix (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413116)

If the immigration system wasn't so fucked up to begin with we wouldn't be seeing this. Corruption in Mexico and on this side of the border is largely what causes the problems that this stupid card is supposed to fix. It will not fix them. Illegal aliens are nothing if not highly intelligent and resourceful. The U.S. government is nothing if not blundering and ill-managed. This will not fix the problem, but instead introduce new problems for those who didn't have them before. The cards will solve nothing. I have illegal immigrants in my family who work here and I would love to see an opportunity for them to be able to be able to stay and make a living, but not at this cost. I refuse to trade freedom for a slightly and increasingly lesser form of freedom. I will be putting the word out that the US has its balls trapped on the immigration issue and that people should not be quick to support something just to get what they think they want only later to discover that it's actually a pair of shackles. Technology is not magic.

Working for money or having money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413118)

So the people who have money can keep their privacy and freedom whereas the people who do the actual work must get an ID card? When will average Americans realize that they're not in the same boat as rich Americans but in the same boat as other working people, including foreign workers?

The Plans... (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413124)

Ok, so worker will be required to get it when they next change jobs, and the industries that will be forced to require this first are the ones which typically hire the most illegals. The industries that hire the most illegals are construction, food service, etc. Those are also the industries where people are going to need to "change jobs" pretty soon, especially construction, due that sector having been hit the hardest by the economic issues. Yet again, this is just another way to control the poorer workers, all the while making them feel like having to register body scans to get a job building houses is for their own good 'cause it'll keep "illegals" from getting the jobs or "terrorists" from blowing them up.

How come its OK for capital to transfer across borders but labor can't move freely? How come I have to go through more trouble to get legal working status in another country than I do to invest in a foreign stock market? Is it because the nation state is the new lord's estate and they want to keep me on the manor? And to make sure we don't get any funny ideas, the Daddy Party tries to tell us we should hate our neighbors and do anything necessary to keep them out, fomenting racism and causing all sorts of animosity on both sides of the border, and the water, making sure that we're just as unwelcome abroad as they are here... screw this shit.

Great idea! (5, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413156)

Well, this completely solves the illegal immigration problem! I mean, it's not like people will give illegal immigrants jobs if they don't have valid "job cards." After all, then they would need to pay the immigrants cash under the table or something. And, of course, these cards will be 100% forgery proof so immigrants won't be able to just get a fake ID.

Plus, there are no privacy concerns at all. I mean a card with your fingerprint and other personal information sitting right in your wallet? That's the most secure place I can think of. Nobody would ever lose their wallet or have it stolen. The card could never, ever go missing leading to identity theft. Nope. Simply impossible.

Oh and did I mention the "E-Verify" online system to check the ID card's validity. A stroke of genius! It's sure to be 100% hack-proof like all good government sites are.

Finally, there's no way this would ever be used for anything other than jobs. There will be no temptation for our completely honest politicians to extend this to travel, voting or any other use.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to clean my glasses. I think there's a smudge on the rose-colored lens.

The powers that be... (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413182)

... don't want a fix to the problem.

It's not good for business, and so MANY people don't want to fix the problem, it's never going to be solved in any real way.

You know the I-9 form? You know how annoying it is? You know how many people have been prosecuted for falsifying information on the form?

Two. That's it. Two cases.

Either people here in the US are really, really honest, or there's no one out there investigating theses things.

New technology won't change old behavior.

implant (2, Insightful)

TheMonkeyhouse (1271112) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413206)

awesome - this is the first step towards automatic identification - soon we will have the RFID chip implanted under your skin so with one wave of your hand anyone can know everything about you!

i knew something like this would happen when immigration moved under the auspices of the Department of Fatherland Security.

and RFID is so much nicer than barcodes or numbers just written straight on the skin...

Instead of using crap like this... (1)

jonwil (467024) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413222)

Instead of using crap like this to stop illegals, do this instead:
1.Do whatever is necessary to ensure legal American workers can get (and will try to get) the jobs that illegals are currently taking. Tie this work to unemployment benefits (i.e. if you are currently out of work and receiving any kind of government unemployment benefits you have to take these jobs. Possibly the government over there could do what the government here in Australia did and introduce "work for the dole" (which is where you work at the jobs like fruit picking that would otherwise be taken by illegals in the American system but instead of being paid by the employer out of their pockets, the government pays what they would have paid you in unemployment/dole payments)

2.Encourage American companies to build factories and other things in Central America where the illegals come from (if a Mexican has a good job in Mexico, they have a lot less reason to try to come to America and work for almost no pay because any job that pays anything decent wont take the risk of hiring people without proper paperwork)

What's the point? (1)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413250)

Do they really think this card can't be duplicated / created illegally? If it's actually too hard to make one, people will just steal the materials or bribe someone. As is done today. The only ones that will be impacted, as usual, are those attempting to follow the law, who get eaten alive by the bureaucracy.

Just need to have serious fines for employers (4, Informative)

originalhack (142366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413270)

The ID cards are not the problem. The problem is consequences.

Today, it is cheaper to staff with undocumented workers and hope they don't get caught. If ALL employers had to verify the ID of all of their employees and contractors or face serious fines and all contractors (including household help) were required to show a verifiable ID and anyone who fails to check or falsifies faced serious penalties, this problem would be hugely reduced overnight.

The real problem is that the big businesses (agriculture, meat packing, hospitality, commercial real-estate, etc..) want the cheap labor and won't let the problem be solved.

Only One Problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413278)

The potential for good like scanning my card at any doctor's office or hospital and thus being done with my check in, or scanning my card at the DMV and thus being done with my check in or... will never happen.

It's official (4, Interesting)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413300)

Federalism is officially a complete failure.

The day I am forced to get an unconstitutional "biometric ID card" in order not to have my job opportunities, directly subsidized by taxes, government-sponsored monopolies and other expropriated wealth, stolen by an illegal immigrant is the day that it's time to dissolve the federal government and revert it's duties back to states that have some semblance of fiscal responsibility and individual rights.

And I say this of course under the near-universal assumption (by now) that this, along with everything else the US government does, will do absolutely nothing to curb illegal immigration or salvage jobs or benefit Americans and instead will be used simply as another tool of inept government to punish the compliant and reward criminals and cheaters and traitor banks and businesses.

The US is no longer a functional government. It can't regulate borders. It dissolves them and signs them away in supranational treaties. It can't regulate trade or abusive businesses. It supports them and bails them out when they fail. It can't win wars. It can't even define "winning" in terms of the bullshit wars it now engages in. It can't regulate reproduction or resource consumption or immigration or anything that actually affects the long term well-being of it's citizens. All it can do at this point is make token bullshit infringements on the rights of anyone unlucky or stupid enough to get in it's way, accomplishing absolutely nothing save crippling debt increases in the process.

How do you authenticate? (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 4 years ago | (#31413308)

First, if employees would have to get them when they got new jobs would this be something done in the field or something someone would have to go to an office to pick up? If the latter than exactly how much do you think immigrant workers who cross the border to work in the fields will stop by a government office to register?

If it's the former what stops anybody from creating a second indentity for themselves by simply getting a job, saying they have no ID, and getting a card? Or stops someone who is here from mexico (many of whom don't have birth certificates they could find or any documentation) from simply creating identities ad hoc?

Also, for the sake of comic relief, can we call it a Multipass?

F'em (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31413358)

Fuck the State!

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