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Immigration Bill's National ID System Raises Fears of Abuse

By    |   Sunday, 16 Jun 2013 08:28 AM

A workplace employment check tucked inside the Senate’s immigration bill has some concerned it would create a national ID system and another massive database containing the private information of most Americans that is ripe for abuse.

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In order to verify an immigrant’s legal status, employers would be allowed to access the databases of drivers' licenses in individual states through an expanded network created by the Homeland Security Department, The New York Times reports.

“Over time, this could become a single, national, searchable database of vital biographic information and photographs of nearly every American,” said Democrat Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware. “I want to make sure we embed privacy protections in the system, both in how it is built and administered so that data cannot easily be stolen, and also that the information is only used for legitimate purposes.”

The concerns for abuse come as the Obama administration wrestles with accusations it has abused the privacy of foreigners and U.S. citizens through access to phone and Internet records.

A spokesman for Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida defended the use of an E-Verify system as a needed tool to ensure American workers are legal citizens.

“The system we currently have is full of fraud and contributes to illegal immigration,” said spokesman Alex Conant. “This proposed system protects individual civil liberties while giving employers the tools to make sure their employees are legal.”

However, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky recently questioned the potential abuse of a system that accessed 212 million driver’s license records and called it a “national picture database.”

“A national database of citizens raises the question: What activities will require someone to present their papers? A national ID allows more power to gravitate to Washington and a greater likelihood that power will be abused,” Paul wrote in a Washington Times opinion piece.

“We already know the federal government is rife with false positives on the no-fly list and the National Instant Check system for gun buyers. Why would we be foolish enough to think that a massive database of all citizens would not have the same problems on a grander scale?” Paul said.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio told Newsmax the E-Verify system would block at least 40 percent of illegal immigrants from passing a job background check.

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“We need to be sure that we're not moving ahead with the legal status of some kind for people who are here without putting enforcement in place, and that's something I'll be working on the floor of the Senate,” Portman said.


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A workplace employment check tucked inside the Senate's immigration bill has some concerned it would create a national ID system and another massive database containing the private information of most Americans that is ripe for abuse. In order to verify an immigrant's legal...
immigration,national,id,rand,paul
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2013-28-16
Sunday, 16 Jun 2013 08:28 AM
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