Oh, no. This won’t set off conservative and libertarian alarm bells at all.

Posted by: Phineas on May 11, 2013 at 9:31 pm

**Posted by Phineas

"The State watches over you"

“The State watches over you”

I mean, what’s so threatening about a biometric database of all adult Americans being in the immigration bill, citizen?

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf)  is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.

This piece of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act is aimed at curbing employment of undocumented immigrants. But privacy advocates fear the inevitable mission creep, ending with the proof of self being required at polling places, to rent a house, buy a gun, open a bank account, acquire credit, board a plane or even attend a sporting event or log on the internet. Think of it as a government version of Foursquare, with Big Brother cataloging every check-in.

Emphasis added.

Nah, there are no 4th Amendment illegal search and privacy concerns here. Nothing to see, carry on. After all, wingnuts, you demanded greater security in the immigration bill and, well, here ya go! The government will make sure only bona fide Americans get jobs by keeping track of each and every one of us. And if they should find other uses for the information, well, that will be for the public good, too.

And you thought Person of Interest was just fiction.

If this Wired story is true, this provision is reason enough to kill the bill.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

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7 Responses to “Oh, no. This won’t set off conservative and libertarian alarm bells at all.”


  1. Even if they were able to put such a national registry together, of which their being capable is in some doubt, illegal aliens would still get jobs, terrorists would still create mayhem as in Boston, and government benefits would still continue to be sent to long-dead corpses in all “57 states”.

  2. Nope, no alarm bells. Just as we have nothing to worry about with a national or state database(s) of gun ownership/purchase records either. Just as we have nothing to fear from IRS targeting. Nothing to fear. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

  3. Carlos says:

    It is a relatively short jump from where we are today to the imagined state of terror mentioned above. Think about it:

    The IRS already has a majority of the info needed. What the IRS doesn’t have, the Census does. Add to that hacking into the computer bases of the stores you deal with (with their “rewards” programs and whatnot) and the guvmint can tell how many people you’re feeding at home and, in many cases, their approximate ages.We’ve already moved from a relatively “free” society to an all-seeing, all-knowing intrusive government.

    But that’s exactly why we need conservatives to stand tall on “the issues”: at least it still gives us a small measure of thinking we have SOME control over the monster of tyranny. That’s why such things as “border security” and “no gun registration lists” are important.

  4. Neo says:

    Of course, future illegals will be vaporized

  5. Lorica says:

    One, I don’t trust the Gov. with not using this information for some devious purpose. Two, I don’t trust the Gov to keep this information secure. These are the people that compromised how many millions of veterans with their stupidity. Just imagine when this gets hacked and the hackers start to download all this information on every American. Three, Ohhh Great YET another Gov department to keep us from getting uppity. John “F” Kerry That!!

    Ronald Reagan was absolutely correct, Gov. is the problem. These fools need to stop wasting our time with these laws that must be 2000 pages or more before they are finished. The greatest governing document ever written prints out on less than 10 pages, The U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. – Lorica

  6. Kate says:

    ….and just think, the IRS will be collecting the fees and taxes from Obamacare…just a short leap to collect our confidential medical records to allow them to do a biometric file for each of us!

  7. kd says:

    Remember, a few years back, John McCain’s portrayal of John Ashcroft on SNL?

    “None of us will be safe until we all have barcodes tattooed on the backs of our necks!”