CIR may not even pass based on the ferocious opposition to the biometric security card.
While it may sound like a good idea on the surface, the proposed biometric security card as part of CIR is creating a major flap. Interestingly enough, it’s not just one side that opposes it, it’s both. Generally speaking, the idea behind the biometric security card is that a person’s work authorization eligibility is stored in a chip on the card.
“The data would not be stored in any central government database; something that doesn’t make a great deal of sense to a number of people. If you lose it, you have a problem. However, the issue here is privacy and civil liberties,” said Sally Odell, an immigration lawyer at Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.
In some ways it’s amusing that civil liberties are touted as being important and that is why the data would not be stored centrally, because if civil liberty was a genuine issue, no one would have cards like that in the first place. “And chances are, the data ‘would’ eventually make its way to a central repository, despite what anyone says to the contrary,” observed Odell.
The general idea right now is that the government wants to make it very difficult for illegal immigrants to find work and if they had biometric security cards to hand to potential employers, the employers would, under pain of really heavy fines and/or jail terms, use the card to check their status. “If this sounds a bit like a national identity card, you’d be right, and that is how the civil liberty groups are regarding it as well. That fact is that ‘every’ US citizen would need to have one, every resident would need one and so would every immigrant,” Odell remarked.
Another “what if” to consider with these cards is the fact that they could be stolen and forged. “Can you imagine the black market price for those cards?” asked Odell. If the E-verify system is any example of what could and does go wrong with “security” systems like the proposed biometric security card, the nation would be in for a rather large version of the Gong Show.
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