Time Magazine Pushes Biometric ID Card as “Key” to Immigration Reform


KATY STEINMETZ
Time Magazine
March 30, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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Could a national identity card help resolve the heated immigration-reform divide?

Two Senators, New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, certainly seem to think so. They recently presented an immigration-bill blueprint to President Barack Obama that includes a proposal to issue a biometric ID card – one that would contain physical data such as fingerprints or retinal scans – to all working Americans. The “enhanced Social Security card” is being touted as a way to curb illegal immigration by giving employers the power to quickly and accurately determine who is eligible to work. “If you say [illegal immigrants] can’t get a job when they come here, you’ll stop it,” Schumer told the Wall Street Journal. Proponents also hope legal hiring will be easier for employers if there’s a single go-to document instead of the 26 that new employees can currently use to show they’re authorized to work.

But with a congressional skirmish over comprehensive immigration reform on the horizon, skeptics from the left and the right have raised numerous concerns about the biometric ID – some of which pop up every time a form of national identification is proposed, and some that hinge on the shape this plan ultimately takes.

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