Here we go again. One of the less-debated provisions lurking in the Immigration Modernization Act would revive an old statist dream: a national ID card.
More precisely, it would create a federal database of info on everybody. An increasingly intrusive national identification regime would follow.
An article in Wired alerts us that the 800-page bill provides for an “innocuously-named ‘photo tool,’ a massive federal database . . . containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license and other state-issued ID.” Employers would have to check the database before hiring.
That’s intrusive enough. But this database would also lay the basis for all manner of further surveillance and authorization protocols.
A push for a national ID card as a way to combat terrorism has been ongoing especially since 9/11. Worries about illegal immigration have been another major rationale for planning an expansive surveillance regime.
Whether from fear of immigrants, fear of terrorists, fear of drugs, fear of cash or fear of unmonitored actions of any kind (what do people do when they draw the blinds?), the huddled masses are invited to eagerly submit to ever-more-invasive oversight. And, hey, unless we have “something to hide,” why wouldn’t we have boundless faith in the motives and powers of Big Brother?
Who should object to the database? Civil libertarians, libertarians, conservatives, liberals, or, really, anybody who gets a creepy-crawly feeling at the prospect of the surveillance state’s monitoring and approving our every move.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.