Romney Proposes National ID Card

Mitt Romney has a plan. A plan to solve the “immigration problem.” And it will come as no surprise to those following the GOP presidential debates that the answer of Romney — the former Governor of Massachusetts and father of the “individual mandate” — is more government.

At last week’s debate, Romney announced his idea for dealing with the more than 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States in defiance of applicable federal and state laws.
On stage in Sioux City, Romney laid out for Republicans his plan for a national identification card system to distinguish between those here without permission and those legally permitted to live and work in the United States.
As an additional protection against encouraging further illegal entrance, Romney proposed an expansion of the E-Verify program, which requires employers to investigate the immigration status of potential workers.
In October at a town hall meeting in Sioux City, Iowa, Romney addressed the role he envisions the federal government playing in preventing businesses from hiring those without proper work visas.
You’ve got to crack down on employers that hire people that are illegal, and that means you have to have a system that identifies who’s here legally, with a biometric card that has: this is the person, they’re allowed to work here. You say to an employer, you look at that card, you swipe it in your computer, you type in the number, it instantly tells you whether they’re legal or not.
What, one may ask, is so offensive about a plan to issue ID cards to immigrants that would aid employers in avoiding fines imposed by the federal government for hiring illegals? After all, the cards would have the concomitant effect of preventing illegal aliens from taking jobs they are legally prevented from holding.
Jim Harper at the Cato Institute sees the program’s potential for misuse and for government overreaching:
Like the Social Security number did when it caught mission creep, the national ID Romney talks about would come to be used to control access to housing, to financial services and credit, gun ownership, health care and medicine, the list goes on and on.
It’s technically possible to have a biometric card that solely indicates one’s qualification to work under federal law, but as I wrote in my paper, “Franz Kafka’s Solution to Illegal Immigration,” there is almost no chance that the government would limit itself this way. E-Verify requires a national identity system, and Mitt Romney wants that national identity system…

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