Faithandthelaw's Blog

The law as it relates to Christians and their free exercise of religion

The Rutherford Institute Joins with Broad Coalition to Urge White House and Members of Congress to Oppose Biometric National ID Card

Posted by faithandthelaw on April 17, 2010

WASHINGTON – The Rutherford Institute has joined with a broad coalition of groups urging the White House, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to oppose a proposal by Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that would include a biometric national ID card in comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Signatories to the letter opposing the national ID card are from across the political spectrum and include advocates for privacy, consumer rights, gun owners, limited government and religious liberty.

A copy of the coalition’s letter is available here.

“No one disputes that our broken immigration system harms both immigrants and non-immigrants, but a full scale National ID system is not the solution,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “A National ID would not only violate privacy by helping to consolidate data and facilitate tracking of individuals, it would bring government into the very center of our lives by serving as a government permission slip needed by everyone in order to work.”

A biometric ID card, like the kind under consideration for inclusion in the comprehensive immigration reform legislation being considered by Congress, is a national system for identifying individuals that is used to determine if they are eligible for rights and benefits–a classic national ID. In order to create a biometric ID, every worker in America would have to present a birth certificate and other identification documents, then have his or her biometric, like a fingerprint, captured.

In its letter, the coalition stated, “A National ID would not only violate privacy by helping to consolidate data and facilitate tracking of individuals, it would bring government into the very center of our lives by serving as a government permission slip needed by everyone in order to work.” Both Republicans and Democrats have opposed a National ID system. President Reagan likened a 1981 proposal to the biblical “mark of the beast,” and President Clinton dismissed a similar plan because it smacked of Big Brother. Furthermore, as the letter points out, contrary to the contentions of Senators Schumer and Graham, it would be impossible to create such a system without establishing a national database – a central electronic repository – of Americans’ personal information.

Every government identification system currently in existence requires a database. Databases are necessary in order to reissue lost or stolen cards and as a check on fraud and abuse. Without record keeping, the same Social Security number and birth certificate could be used again and again to issue new cards to different people – defeating the entire purpose of the system. Such a central repository will be irresistible to identity thieves, hackers and those who want to misuse personal information for crimes like stalking.

Courtesy of http://www.rutherford.org/articles_db/press_release.asp?article_id=820

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