WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Ron Paul today denounced the national ID card provisions contained in the intelligence bill being voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives, while urging his colleagues to reject the bill and its new layers of needless bureaucracy.
"National ID cards are not proper in a free society," Paul stated. "This is America, not Soviet Russia. The federal government should never be allowed to demand papers from American citizens, and it certainly has no constitutional authority to do so."
"A national identification card, in whatever form it may take, will allow the federal government to inappropriately monitor the movements and transactions of every American," Paul continued. "History shows that governments inevitably use such power in harmful ways. The 9/11 commission, whose recommendations underlie this bill, has called for internal screening points where identification will be demanded. Domestic travel restrictions are the hallmark of authoritarian states, not free nations. It is just a matter of time until those who refuse to carry the new licenses will be denied the ability to drive or board an airplane."
"Nationalizing standards for drivers' licenses and birth certificates, and linking them together via a national database, creates a national ID system pure and simple. Proponents of the national ID understand that the public remains wary of the scheme, so they attempt to claim they're merely creating new standards for existing state IDs. Nonsense! This legislation imposes federal standards in a federal bill, and it creates a federalized ID regardless of whether the ID itself is still stamped with the name of your state."
"Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us safer are terribly mistaken," Paul concluded. "Subjecting every citizen to surveillance and screening points actually will make us less safe, not in the least because it will divert resources away from tracking and apprehending terrorists and deploy them against innocent Americans! Every conservative who believes in constitutional restraints on government should reject the authoritarian national ID card and the nonsensical intelligence bill itself."