In the following example, the identity industry has the most to gain from mandating national identity standards to pursue life normally. Basic standards for a nationalized ID card are a far cry from what some of these corporations urge our government to endorse: massive database systems, biometric face prints, RFID, DNA laminates and now fingerprints in order to secure legal working status.
Charles Schumer said the following during a Summer floor speech:
“There is only one way to really get a system that will stop illegal immigration and stop employers from hiring, and that is by creating a biometric-based Federal employment verification system that will give both employers and employees the peace of mind that employment relationships are both lawful and proper. It will also give the American people the same peace of mind. This system will be our most important asset in dramatically reducing the number of illegal aliens who are able to live and work in the United States.
…I am eager to enact comprehensive reform with a strong, tough employer verification system.”
We disagree with Schumer. Erecting fingerprint standards as a gate to one’s right to work does not lend peace of mind for those with concerns about privacy.
WASHINGTON/PRNewswire –The Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) released a workshop report calling for the development of an American National Standard on identity verification as a tool to help combat terrorism and identity theft. The IDSP workshop and report were driven by recognized vulnerabilities in the issuance of foundational documents used to prove identity, in particular the birth certificate. Since agencies typically rely on but do not verify birth certificates and other source credentials such as driver’s licenses and Social Security cards used to establish identity, there is a loophole where identity theft and fraud can occur.
A project plan was developed and a team formed to take this work forward under the leadership of the North American Security Products Organization (NASPO), an ANSI-accredited standards developer. See http://www.naspo.info for a summary of the work done to develop identity verification guidelines.
“Participants in the workshop concluded that a common systematic process is needed to achieve a level of assurance whether to accept or reject a person’s claim of identity,” said Dr. Graham Whitehead, director of standards development for NASPO and the project’s leader. “A strong identity verification process will go a long way toward preventing credentials from getting into the hands of terrorists and identity criminals.”
The report cites other envisioned benefits of identity verification guidelines to […] enhance the security and credibility of government and commercial credentials issued downstream, such as public and private-sector employment identification cards, U.S. passports, Medicare / Medicaid cards, and credit/charge cards.
We followed the breadcrumbs to NASPO’s site and guess what? The public review period to include you, John Q. Public, is now closed
. It’s not like you were really solicited or invited anyway, right? That is not how it works. NASPO is paid to figure out how to make the identity industry a lot of money. Since the biometrics industry has earned a big brother reputation and is despised by populist groups, it would be a real downer for them to hear from a taxpayer at one of these meetings.
Here is how it should work. The people set the standards of what they will and won’t pay for.
Institutionally indoctrinated people in the U.S. : military service members, prisoners, school employees, social service & government workers and state health employees all surrender fingerprinted identity to a government crucible as part of their service to our society. However, plenty of citizens avoid those lines of work due to the bureaucratic demands on their person. The burden of proof is pushed onto the citizen and not the institution.
It’s very difficult for the average citizen to simply eat another form of identity based on the elusive plan to identify terrorists and unlawful immigrants. It is expensive and lazy to paint all Americans with the same brush as those here without “papers”. If supplying accurate documents to your employer is not enough to verify you are who you say you are, along with a hair and urine sample in some cases, fingerprints won’t be enough either.
So let’s stick to the objective. The path to immigration reform relies on US companies to deny employment to immigrants unlawfully present in the U.S.
Let’s look at a State strategy that actually had some success. Arizona revokes business licenses of those who employ unlawful immigrants. More often than not, businesses who are “busted” cut a deal. If they agree to let all of the unlawful labor go, the State allows them to stay in business. It’s a strategy that works better than burdening workers with the costs to submit their fingerprints to be employed, with no reliable results, and indefinite record detention.
Let’s encourage our public officials to try another strategy regardless of baited recommendations of the identity industry rather than accepting biometric identity as a standard requirement to work. It is not “the only way”
to achieve immigration reform as Schumer may claim.