Biometric cards for all Americans
POSTED: Tuesday, March 9, 2010 - 7:17pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 4:40am
TYLER-A new solution proposed over illegal immigration. This time not only do non-citizens get a card to work in the U.S., but every worker in the nation. Some say it's a violation of privacy.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina believe a small card could be the way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants. They're calling it a national biometric identification card.
Right now employers have the option of using an online system called E-verify to check whether a potential employee is here illegally. But some lawmakers have complained the system is ineffective.
Under this proposed plan, it would be mandatory that all U.S. workers, not just immigrants, be issued an identification card with embedded information.
"This program would require everyone to be fingerprinted, essentially treating everyone like a criminal in order to work," Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.
But the biggest objections come from privacy advocates, who fear these cards would become national id cards that would track citizens.
"It will certainly cost hundreds of billions of dollars and it will be expanded like social security numbers to everything from voting to working to owning a gun," Calabrese said.
Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Lindsey Graham plan to meet with President Obama as soon as this week to update him on their work.
An administration official said the White House has no position on the biometric card.