March 18/10. Two U.S.
senators met with President Obama on Thursday to push for a national ID card
with biometric information such as a fingerprint, hand scan, or iris scan
that all employers would be required to verify.
opinion article published in Friday's edition of the Washington Post,
Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) say the new
identification cards will "ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs" and
"dramatically decrease illegal immigration."
Schumer and Graham pitched
the idea to President Obama during a private meeting Thursday at the White
House. Graham said afterward that Obama "welcomed" their proposal for a new
ID card law; the White House said in a
statement that the senators' plan was "promising."
This push for a national ID
is part of what the senators say is a necessary overhaul of immigration law,
including additional border security, more temporary workers, and a form of
amnesty for illegal immigrants already in the United States. It comes just
two days before a rally in Washington, D.C. sponsored by groups including
the AFL-CIO, Farmworker Justice, and the National Council of La Raza that
calls for amnesty.
Linking national ID cards
to immigration reform is a popular idea in Washington political circles.
After all, if every U.S. citizen has a biometric-equipped cards, the
thinking goes, it's easy to order employers not to give a job to someone
But concerns about privacy,
security, and federalism have torpedoed each one of these proposals so far.
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