Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform


The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf)  is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.  

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.

This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.

“It starts to change the relationship between the citizen and state, you do have to get permission to do things,” said Chris Calabrese, a congressional lobbyist with the American Civil Liberties Union. “More fundamentally, it could be the start of keeping a record of all things.”

For now, the legislation allows the database to be used solely for employment purposes. But historically such limitations don’t last. The Social Security card, for example, was created to track your government retirement benefits. Now you need it to purchase health insurance.

“The Social Security number itself, it’s pretty ubiquitous in your life,” Calabrese said.

David Bier, an analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, agrees with the ACLU’s fears.

“The most worrying aspect is that this creates a principle of permission basically to do certain activities and it can be used to restrict activities,” he said. “It’s like a national ID system without the card.”

For the moment, the debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee is focused on the parameters of legalization for unauthorized immigrants, a border fence and legal immigration in the future.

The committee is scheduled to resume debate on the package Tuesday.

2 thoughts on “Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform

  1. See! They always find a way. They say, “You need to do this in order to buy something. You need to do this in order to sell something. You need to do this in order to get a job even though you never needed it before.”

    Gee…..doesn’t this remind you of something? Oh yea! It’s in the book of Revelations:

    Rev. 13:16-18:

    “16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
    17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
    18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”

    Then the government and the sheeple will say, “I know we never had it before, but what’s wrong? It just all of your information stored on one card, rather than separate cards. It’s just easier for everyone involved, so we are going to do it this way. Ok? I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is.” To that I say, “F**K YOU!!!!” Two middle fingers straight up in your face. I DON’T and NEVER WILL worship or bare the mark of the beast!!!!

    To any of you sheeple that do, may God have mercy on your soul because I sure as hell won’t.

  2. Anyone who believes it is to stop illegal immigrants from taking jobs must have forgotten that they are all going to become documented very soon. The lies are so transparent it’s nearly funny. What it really demonstrates is where the head of the average person is.

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