Photo ID Database a Step Too Far

Photo ID Database a Step Too Far

There’s an intriguing intersection with national security, privacy, and immigration reform.

The Senate immigration reform bill of 2013 wove itself through a number of hurdles to help satisfy both sides of the aisle. But there’s an aspect of the plan that is unsettling to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. He’s worried about peoples’ privacy and peoples’ rights, and making sure the government doesn’t try to wrap its hands around those freedoms.

What has him most concerned in the immigration bill? An expansion of the E-Verify worker verification system. It’s an electronic photo tool that the bill would expand to include a picture of every American. That database would be used by employers to check the legal status and identity of any employees or job applicants.

Currently, these verifications do not use photos for identity confirmation purposes.

And here’s why Paul has an issue with it, as David Grant of the Christian Science Monitor writes:

“But Paul, a potential 2016 GOP presidential contender and the heir to the libertarian following built by his father, former US Rep. Ron Paul, is also worried about government intrusion into Americans’ lives and suspicious that the photo identification part of the immigration bill will create an avenue for new intrusions.

‘I worry that the Senate is working to consider a series of little-noticed provisions in comprehensive immigration reform that may provide a pathway to a national ID card for all individuals present in the United States – citizens and noncitizens,’ Paul wrote. ‘These draconian ideas would simply give government too much power.’”

The system has long been pushed by other GOP members as an important part of an immigration deal. But in Paul’s view, the rest of the bill is enough. There’s more border security, additional safeguards to ensure illegal immigrants don’t receive government benefits, a higher number of legal paths to citizenship, and more.

Why add this photo ID database to the mix? Is that something the government really needs to have?

What about you? Would you be comfortable with an electronic database that contained a photo of every American, if it was used strictly for employment identity verification? Let us know below in the comments.

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