The Hill's ID card alarmism

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

The Hill reports on a Democratic proposal:

Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.


The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.

It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases.

That isn't really true. The proposal wouldn't require workers to "carry a national identification card," only that they possess one for employment purposes. The Hill's description makes the card sound like identification people must carry at all times, and which may be demanded by police or others at any time. That isn't the case.

The Democrats' proposal is for the creation of an identification card that would be used to confirm employment eligibility. The proposal (PDF) specifically makes clear that's all the card would be for:

The new biometric social security card shall enable the following outcomes: (1) permit the individual cardholder to control who can access their information; (2) allow electronic authentication of the credential to determine work authorization; and (3) possession of scalability of authentication capability depending on the requirement of the application.

Possession of a fraud-proof social security card will only serve as evidence of lawful work-authorization but will in no way be permitted to serve-or shall be required to be shown- as proof of citizenship or lawful immigration status. It will be unlawful for any person, corporation; organization local, state, or federal law enforcement officer; local or state government; or any other entity to require or even ask an individual cardholder to produce their social security card for any purpose other than electronic verification of employment eligibility and verification of identity for Social Security Administration purposes.

There are presumably legitimate objections to such a card, but it is simply untrue and alarmist to claim that the proposal requires everyone to "carry" the card.

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The Hill
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