DHS Secretary Chertoff on REAL ID's "COUNTLESS OTHER" USES.


Friday, June 6, 2008

Debate Looks at Immigration Laws and Citizenship

PBS has posted a debate sponsored by the Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia. Robert MacNeil was the moderator. The introduction says the debate "examined the current laws dealing with immigration and the possible plans to address the twelve million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S."

One of the participants of the debate, Vernon Briggs said:

Well, I think, ultimately, we're going to have to get a counterfeit-proof identification card of some sort to be used in -- and hopefully it will be partially the Social Security card, but it's going to have to have biometric identifiers. It's going to be a transition that will require people to have photographs.

I mean, I have in my pocket a card, a Cornell faculty card. And the back of it, it says I am required to carry that card at all times when I'm on the campus of Cornell University. Every student carries that card.

So this idea that somehow I.D. cards are a big attack on civil liberties is a pure myth. But that's what's holding it up right now.
I am always amazed at how people do not discern things that are different.

Cornell University is not the federal government. No elaboration on this point should be necessary.

In traditional, freedom-oriented thinking, the expansion of the size and power of government necessarily entails a decrease in individual liberty.

The very existence of a national id card (a biometric-plus Social Security Card or REAL ID Card) is a violation of civil liberties. America is supposed to be different. It is supposed to be a free country.

Has Mr. Briggs asked the following questions?

1. Who owns the biometrics of a person? The individual or the government?

2. Should citizens be required, by legislative force, to carry around such a card? If so, why? To be scanned at a policeman's request on a moment's notice?

3. How many applications for this technology is Mr. Briggs willing to stomach?

4. Are our rights God-given or electronically doled out by the central government?

5. If the government "needs to know" something about a citizen, shouldn't 4th Amendment issues be raised?

6. Isn't a national id card simply the obtaining of real-time and continuous permission from the federal government just to function in society? Is such "permission" a Constitutional value? Why do free people need so much permission from the government?

7. Shouldn't we reduce or eliminate the number of government "services" that require so much ID?

8. Isn't such a card a massive empowerment of government? It reduces the individual to a string of digits to be electronically manipulated and recorded by powerful politicians and bureaucrats.

9. Shouldn't the power of government be continually pushed "down the ladder" to state and local governments, thereby making communities more personal, human, and accessible? Haven't we had enough of impersonal and dehumanizing expansion of government?

For more on this debate, go here.

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