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DaytonRocker
President Bush, in his speech tonight, offered what appeared to be a new idea. He suggested ID cards for foreign workers:

QUOTE
Third, we need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law – and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place


Chris Matthews called this proposal a homerun. At first blush, I thought it was a great idea and for the most part, still do. But will this idea stand?

Who will be asked for these cards? Me? A middle aged white man? No.

The questions for debate are:
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?

3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?

4. Do you think this is a good idea?
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lederuvdapac
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?

Profiling for foreign workers who are not US citizens perhaps...but nothing beyond that. Letting them have ID cards is a very good idea because it allows us to know who they are and where they are. My only problem with immigration is that illegals are undocumented. I say let everyone into the country that wants to be here. But they have to be documented and pay taxes like every other American if they want to stay here and receive the benefits of our society.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?

I see no grounds for it. Its just identification for foreign workers. I think they should support it because those workers who have ID cards will be able to show the strides they have made in this country and that they want to be a part of society.

3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?

You mean like the drivers license we all carry around? tongue.gif No this will not lead to a National ID card as I assume your question is hinting at. This is for a very specific case, and its a surprisingly good idea.

Curmudgeon
I turned on my Internet, and the Headline on my Home Page was:
QUOTE
President Bush poses for photographers, Monday, May 15, 2006, after making his first Oval Office address to the nation about immigration.

I didn't hear his speech, but apparently he had little to say beyond what was covered in yesterday's morning news..

The questions for debate are:
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?
Yes. Obviously. But then, if you're trying to hire workers for less than minimum wage in order to keep your business physically in the United States while remaining incorporated in the Caymans, you probably won't hire a middle aged white male anyway. Whoops, I think I'm profiling the businesses.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?
It was proposed by George W. Bush, so quite likely yes.

3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?
Do you mean something like Social Security cards. (required at birth if you want to claim the child on your form 1040) or perhaps a Driver's License or state ID?

I tried to buy a CD for PE for a Mother's Day Gift. I couldn't check it out at the automated teller, the NSA needed a photo ID on record, so I had to deal with a human. She threatened to call the cops, and I have one less store I am willing to shop in. My mother was friends with the founder, and I had been shopping in their stores for sixty years.

I was trying to shop in a Tee-Shirt store with PE last month, and they required a photo ID to enter the shop. I told them where to go.

My father used to renew his Driver's License routinely so that he could do normal business, despite the fact he quit driving when I was born and lived another 29 years.

I don't need to check your wallet, you most likely are already carrying an ID. The news has been covering the fact that implantable IDs, developed to help pet owners recover expensive pets, are being implanted in employees who have jobs in High Security areas.

This will not lead to ID cards for everyone, we are well past that stage.

4. Do you think this is a good idea?
Somewhere I have the duplicate Social Security card that a co-worker made for me (and everyone else in our shop) simply because he could. The actual illegal aliens in the United States will likely see this as a trap to register with the government and get deported. They will purchase fake IDs from friends with PCs or pay top dollar to government employees to get their IDs delivered on a street corner or in a parking lot. I suspect they will be available for sale by early morning, and will not get authorized by Congress until after the elections.
AuthorMusician
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?

If you mean that employers would ask for an ID card from a prospective employee, that's supposed to be done already.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?

Under what grounds? Asking for an ID card isn't against the Constitution. Sometimes an outfit asks for a birth cert and/or fingerprints. Still others require an FBI background check.

3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?

We already have them. They're issued by the states and called driver's licenses or picture ID cards. It's pretty hard to find work without one, at least from legitimate employers.

4. Do you think this is a good idea?

Think about it. Illegals are hired on purpose. It's illegal. The employers are criminals, so do you think they will care about an ID card of any type?

Besides, there's already an ID card associated with immigration. It is green in color.

A Colorado driver's license now has holographic printing and digital fingerprint. What amazing technology! I guess President Bush has discovered the grocery checkout scanner. So yeah, it's a great idea that we mountain people figured out a while back. So what took yah so long?
DaytonRocker
Driver's licenses are not supposed to be used as ID. Obviously, they are used for that, but technically, they're not supposed to be. So, if I'm standing in line with 2 latinos, they get carded and I don't have to provide the same because I'm white. It could be many other things that don't involve retina scanning and digital fingerprints.

I'm not against reasonable profiling, so this isn't a big deal to me. But I'm just curious as to where this can go.
Eeyore
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?


QUOTE
We need to hold employers to account for the workers they hire. It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law – and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.
(from the Bush speech last night)

I suspected I had common ground with the Bush administration on the concept of immigration reform. And I suspected correctly. I think the above passage correctly identifies an area where illegal immigration falls through the cracks, in the acquisition of illegal documents for working.

The present worker identification system obviously is failing. There must be more than holding papers with files. Thorough searches could be launched on the use of Social security numbers. New numbers showing up in the system, or duplicate uses of a number should be used to verify the legal status of a social security number user.

In our increasing no-benefit, off the payroll, contractor labor systems I suspect it is getting easier and easier to work without having proper identification and without having to pay taxes for citizens and non-citizens.

However, I am not sure that our government is highly capable of implementing a new "tamper-proof" identification system. I also am not sure that a more concerted effort with existing laws couldn;t reap fantastic results. I read the other day that American households tend to be the main employers of illegal immigrants. We need to convince the American public that they should work to stop employing illegal immigrants at the same time they voice their strong opposition to illegal immigration in opinion polls.

And we should have a basic system that has us get paperwork for work we contract out for, no matter who it is too.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea? The ACLU will fight something that it sees as a block to American citizens' civil liberties. Any system should pass the constitutionality test. The Constitution is the highest law of the land, and if we are a system based on law, than let's follow it and not bash the ACLU for patrolling the borders of our civil liberty protections vigilantly.

3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone? Don't we already have to provide identification in may ways in our lives? I think I national identification card would be fine. I don't care if my identification has a biometric component that proves that I am me. I do, however, not want to have my Constitutional rights (4th Amendment primarily) violated in the name of illegal immigration of national security.


4. Do you think this is a good idea?

I think we need a new system in place. I also think the current rhetoric on national security falls horribly short if we can't secure our borders, and if we have very little ability to know who is inside our country. This should be done in combination with perhaps an overall immigration reform that allows a steady flow of immigration into the country from all over the world. Let's face it, we are going to need their tax dollars in thirty years.
RedCedar
I think these cards will only be valuable if the worker has biometric information on them. Other than that, SS#s are being used by dozens of people so this card could be as easily duplicated.

I'm not sure how a card for foreigners is even considered under the constitution. So the ACLU should stay out of it.

And if we do go toward a national ID card, I think it should be established how police could use the card. In other words a cop couldn't ask you for your ID without a valid reason. God knows police do their share of harrassment. And you wouldn't be required to have the card at all times.

I think a national ID card would be very valuable for individuals, IMHO. If you're not required to have the card then it really difuses the use by police agencies to harass people. But it would be great to avoid ID theft and allow people to fly airlines without hassles.

Being able to prove who you are is a good deal for everyone. It allows people to trust other people and it prevents ID theft.
Christopher
QUOTE
It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud.

Then don't hire them. If they cannot verify they are legal to work here--don't hire.

AZ businesses use this excuse all the time on why its unfair to fine them for hiring illegals. Its a lame excuse that shouldn't be tolerated but the Chamber of Commerce cites it all the time--even used it to overturn the last bill that tried to impose heavy fines on those that do hire them.

Garbage IN Garbage Out.

I can save us all a fortune. No border guards
Want to stop illegals--get rid of the jobs--as in arrest any homeowner caught using them. Actually shut down any business using them -- regardless if the paperwork used was forged. Verification will sharpen fast.
It would dry up real quick as the jobs disappeared.

ID cards and temp worker program -- Great.
rewarding those who broke the law -- only if I can start being excused for breaking the law. whistling.gif

and can we finally levy sanctions against the corrupt as all get out Mexican Government that forces its own people to have to become criminals to support their own families?
How about some protest marches in Mexico City instead of here in the US.

anyone? bueller bueller....

Julian
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?
Aren't alll foreigners supposed to have their passports with them anyway?

After all, it's the type of visa stamped on this that determines whether a foreigner is allowed to work while staying in the USA. If someone hasn't got a passport, or has one with the wrong type of visa, or no visa, then they aren't legally allowed to work in the US.

And if someone of foreign birth is a citizen, they should be able to produce some other kind of ID, shouldn't they?

Biometrics is a red herring on this, because the USA is already asking foreign nations to start adding biometric data to all passports used to visit the USA.

This has been postponed a few times because of the scale of the project, but if this proposal is made out of frustration at whiney Euro back-sliding, what makes President Bush think that a much larger scheme, paid for by the USA and not foreign governments, will happen any sooner? And if it's supposed to be as well as biometric passports, why is it happening at all?

Why introduce another type of ID and another layer of bureaucracy, both of which might seem to be an answer in the headlines but turn out to have downsides?

For instance, biometric passports are not automatically "tamper proof". It might make them harder to forge, but there is no way to make them impossible to forge. If there is no central database, all biometric ID has to do is match the real biometrics of the person carrying the card.

In effect, it's a complex and expensive way of matching handwriting - all it's doing is assuming that nobody in the criminal underworld has a pen. With enough computing power and the right printing & scanning technology, I can scan my own eyes, put that information on a card, and say I'm Frederick Flintstone, and if all anyone ever does is scan my iris or fingerprint and check it against the one on my card, they will ALWAYS match, so you can just call me Fred. That's fine with me, & it may be fine with you, but when I use my newly-legitimate identity to open credit card accounts and clean them out, I daresay Fred himself won't be too pleased when his bank forecloses on him.

Now biometric ID might deter a few "wetbacks" (a hateful term) from walking across the border, but all it will do with the organised gangs that ship Asian, African or East European people over in steel containers labelled "margerine" is make them charge even higher prices to smuggle these poor people in on the promise they will be movie stars or models, doctors or lawyers, when in fact they'll end up working in brothels or sewers.

Nobody really expects the various gangs and mafias that largely run illegal immigration to quietly accept a government-imposed cut in their profits, do they? They'll shell out the cash for the state of the art technology that lets them make their own cards, or just bribe a few officials so they can use the legal systems on the sly. Just like they do now. Big win, George. Well done. wacko.gif

So, for biometric ID to be more useful than a wooden sign saying "I am <<Insert Your Name Here>>", you need a huge, always-on, secure database that is easily accessible by every possible person who legitimately wants to access it.

Not just at IBM HQ, but from every mom & pop's corner store that needs a new grocery clerk, from every farm that needs their melons picked, and from evey fast food joint that needs their fries fried and their burgers flipped.

Can you see this happening?

Who pays for it all? The employers aren't going to - they already cut costs by hiring illegals in the first place. And if the illegals wanted to be all on the books and above board, they would have applied for a work visa through the US Embassy of their home country. The American taxpayer, on the other hand...

But even if you can institute the largest wide scale IT implementation yet devised AND make it secure from hackers and the organised criminals who smuggle in many if not most illegals, AND make it robust enough to be available across all time zones, AND make it quick to issue the ID cards at the point of entry*, AND instantaneously update the central database, AND do it on the kind of timescale that might see a system go-live nationwide sometime before Armageddon/the next Ice Age/Martians invade/Hell freezes over...

...if you CAN do all that, AND it works, the easiest thing in the world is to expand the database to include everyone, not just illegals.

As anyone with a passing knowledge of modern IT will tell you, data storage is cheap and easy.

So, suddenly, a system that was supposed to keep an eye on the immigrants and foreigners and other non-citizens in the USA, and their movements within it, does all that for everyone, before you can say "give me liberty or give me death".

*Ellis island worked fine, but if John and Joanne Bull fly to NYC on a Friday for a quick weekend of shopping and a show, YOU try to explain they have to wait in a secure holding area for six weeks while they are processed; and any system will HAVE to be this wide in scope or else ANYONE can just say "oh I'm only here for the weekend"
3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?
I think it would have to, because without a database there is no earthly point in having them, and there is no earthly point in having a national database covering the entire USA to look after a couple of million foriegners; it would simply not be cost effective unless everyone was going to be on it.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?
If they have an ounce of sense, yes. But not because it's an explicit civil rights issue - see below.

4. Do you think this is a good idea?

As I say, I don't think this is a civil rights issue on the surface - it's a huge white-elephant exercise in misdirection. The problem of immmigration is not caused by a lack of government information, it's caused by greed - the greed of emploers who want to be able to hire people for less than they legally ought to do and the greed of the gang bosses (in both sense of "gang") who ship, fly or drive them in.

How many illegal workers pay taxes? How many employers pay them above minimum wage? How many people hiring illegal workers ever bother to look for ID in the first place?

The black economy most illegals work within only functions because everyone colludes in it - and attempts to curb immigration, legal or otherwise, only address the supply side.

If minimum wage laws were properly enforced, and employers - be they agricultural gang-masters, docks managment, fast food franchisees or suburban middle classes looking for domestic servants on the cheap - were properly punished for breaking them (i.e. imprisoned), then demand would drop and most of the problem would go away without conjuring new layers of government from thin air (or your taxes) or putting in place the necessary infrastructure for 1984 to stop being a work of fiction.

If I seem passionate and derisive about the whole biometric ID idea, it's because my own far-sighted and noble bunch of idiots in government (on this issue, among others) are proposing that ALL us Brits get biometric ID. Over here the excuse is terrorism, not illegal immigration, but it's equally dunder-headed.
lederuvdapac
QUOTE(Julian)
4. Do you think this is a good idea?

As I say, I don't think this is a civil rights issue on the surface - it's a huge white-elephant exercise in misdirection. The problem of immmigration is not caused by a lack of government information, it's caused by greed - the greed of emploers who want to be able to hire people for less than they legally ought to do and the greed of the gang bosses (in both sense of "gang") who ship, fly or drive them in.

How many illegal workers pay taxes? How many employers pay them above minimum wage? How many people hiring illegal workers ever bother to look for ID in the first place?

The black economy most illegals work within only functions because everyone colludes in it - and attempts to curb immigration, legal or otherwise, only address the supply side.

If minimum wage laws were properly enforced, and employers - be they agricultural gang-masters, docks managment, fast food franchisees or suburban middle classes looking for domestic servants on the cheap - were properly punished for breaking them (i.e. imprisoned), then demand would drop and most of the problem would go away without conjuring new layers of government from thin air (or your taxes) or putting in place the necessary infrastructure for 1984 to stop being a work of fiction.


Julian I have to disagree. While i concede that the "black economy" is fueled partly by corporations not following the nation's laws...the true reason there is such an economy is because of Mexico. If Mexico had the jobs to satisfy its populace, there would be no need for them to cross the border. And instead of these 9 million+ illegal immigrants voting in their corrupt elections, they have decided to come to America where the conditions and the pay are ridiculously better.

The fight over illegal immigration is two-fold. First, we have to secure the border. Second, we have to come up with a plan that would put incentives for private corporations (yes those evil, greedy corporations) to invest in Mexico. If FDI can increase and the amount of jobs increase, than people will have less of a reason to come to the United States. You may place blame on corporations who are providing you with low priced goods, but I place blame on the Mexican government for encouraging such a blatant violation of our laws as well as doing nothing economically to keep people in.

I think that ID cards will not lead to the doom and gloom that you believe. Maybe the whole biometric aspect of it scare you, but we cannot have millions of undocumented people flowing into the country. So give them documents and make them pay taxes.
Google
Eeyore
QUOTE(christopher @ May 16 2006, 03:31 PM)

QUOTE
It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees, because of the widespread problem of document fraud.

Then don't hire them. If they cannot verify they are legal to work here--don't hire.

AZ businesses use this excuse all the time on why its unfair to fine them for hiring illegals. Its a lame excuse that shouldn't be tolerated but the Chamber of Commerce cites it all the time--even used it to overturn the last bill that tried to impose heavy fines on those that do hire them.

anyone? bueller bueller....
*



That is my phrase I believe. It is all well and good to get on one's soap box and state, well they call it ILLEGAL immigration. Hiring undocumented workers is illegal.

I rent to a Mexican family, I have recently used day labor for my construction projects. In renting I was a bit at a loss, but I asked for a photo identification to document identity and would have for any renter. Beyond that I did not feel qualified to conduct a citizenship investigation. I do not want to rent to or hire illegals.

As for the day laborer I recently used, I investigated his story with an interview. I asked if he was here legally (and his family who worked on the project) They said they were citizens. What else can I do at present?

Having worked in California restaurants for years, everyone was documented that was working. It just happened to be that most of the documents were most likely fraudulent. Just like a lot of the id's I checked were probably fraudulent while I bartended in that college town.

And when you bring in legal immigrants and id,s has anyone ever bartended? OMG what a mess. There are standard forms of ids but they aren't reliable for using to serve.

Illegal documentation or invalid, nonstandard documentation is a real problem. There are a lot of illegals in Arizona working for employers that have dutifully copied the required forms of identification under law. They are available for inspection.

Are there employers that knowingly hire illegal? Sure. Are there households? Sure.
But how does one hire or rent to anyone that is not an expert in citizenship documentation. I know I have been at a loss personally.
entspeak
[quote=DaytonRocker,May 15 2006, 06:18 PM]
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?

Yes. If we are going to have an ID card for foreign workers, we will need an equally tamper proof ID for citizens. Why? Well, we have many citizens in this country who look and speak like foreign workers. A person forging documents to make someone look like a citizen will not try to forge a biometric foreign worker ID, they will forge the documents that citizens use. This idea is completely useless.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?

The minute a foreign born citizen is turned away from an employer because they have a regular ID and not a foreign worker ID, you can bet the ACLU will fight this.

3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?

Ultimately, tamper proof (yeah, right) ID cards for everyone is the only solution. One for citizens, one for foreign workers. Of course someone will find away to forge the unforgeable.

4. Do you think this is a good idea?

It think it's pointless rhetoric. It won't work.

Ted
The questions for debate are:
1. Will ID cards for foreign workers encourage profiling?

No. Foreign workers must have paperwork now. All we need is a law requiring employers and law enforcement to ask and check the status of people applying for work or those arrested or suspected in a crime.

2. Will the ACLU fight this idea?
You bet

QUOTE
3. Could this lead to ID cards for everyone?

It should

4. Do you think this is a good idea?
A wonderful idea if we want to enforce our laws and protect ourselves from AQ people. Will it be perfect – no – but certainly better than what we have today.
But it will be worthless in states (Like my state of Mass.) where the state does not even allow for law enforcement to ask the question about immigration status.
Julian
[quote=lederuvdapac,May 16 2006, 11:21 PM]
Julian I have to disagree. While i concede that the "black economy" is fueled partly by corporations not following the nation's laws...the true reason there is such an economy is because of Mexico. If Mexico had the jobs to satisfy its populace, there would be no need for them to cross the border. And instead of these 9 million+ illegal immigrants voting in their corrupt elections, they have decided to come to America where the conditions and the pay are ridiculously better.
*

[/quote]
That wasn't quite what I meant - the big corporations are responsible for immigration, and could cope best with the infrastructure investment required to support any biometric ID scheme (most likely by lobbying for government funding for it, but that's another thing).

It's the millions upon millions of mom & pop farms, burger franchises, motels and suburban wealthy who provide the bulk of the legitimate jobs for illegals (i.e. jobs in the regular economy), not Microsoft.

And I didn't say that corporations play any part in the "black economy" - I took pains to point out that it's organised crime that runs the brothels and the people-smuggling that gets quite so many illegals through the borders; I can't believe they are just wandering across the border by themselves - they are paying someone to hidfe them.

[quote]The fight over illegal immigration is two-fold. First, we have to secure the border. Second, we have to come up with a plan that would put incentives for private corporations (yes those evil, greedy corporations) to invest in Mexico. If FDI can increase and the amount of jobs increase, than people will have less of a reason to come to the United States. You may place blame on corporations who are providing you with low priced goods, but I place blame on the Mexican government for encouraging such a blatant violation of our laws as well as doing nothing economically to keep people in.[/quot[e
No arguments from me there, but surely you have some illegals from other countries too? No Russians or Eastern Europeans? No ANZAC or British tourists overstaying their visas?

[quote]I think that ID cards will not lead to the doom and gloom that you believe. Maybe the whole biometric aspect of it scare you, but we cannot have millions of undocumented people flowing into the country. So give them documents and make them pay taxes.[/quote]

Biometric ID only scares me to the extent that it is a collossal white elephant that will not work, and that if it ever can be made to work, it will be a walk in the park for a future government to extend it to anybody. Wait until this happens (if it ever does, wihtou bankrupting the whole country and making some IT consultants as rich as Croesus) and you need to present your biometric ID card to vote. Then complain that your ID card blocks you from drawing a state pension or using state-owned land for recreation or what-have-you because you didn't vote for the guys in power.

People say that the best thing we could do with nuclear weapons is to uninvent them. Impossible of course. A national ID scheme for foreign visitors is possibly even more technically challenging than inventing the bomb, but once it's there, it will be in the power of governments to do what they like with it. I thought the American right was supposed to be about limiting the power of government, not giving it the keys to the biggest candyshop imaginable.
Ted
QUOTE
Julian
People say that the best thing we could do with nuclear weapons is to uninvent them. Impossible of course. A national ID scheme for foreign visitors is possibly even more technically challenging than inventing the bomb, but once it's there, it will be in the power of governments to do what they like with it. I thought the American right was supposed to be about limiting the power of government, not giving it the keys to the biggest candyshop imaginable.


Actually many airports now require foreign travelers to submit to electronic fingerprinting as they enter and leave the US. We really do NEED some form of “forge proof” ID and biometric may be the best way and the cost will not be high as volume increases.

I do not fear this. Why should we? You have lots of IDs now and all this one does is confirm that you are that person. Canada for example has a, hard to forge, ID card for medical coverage and everyone has one (or you cannot get medical care). Again all “biometrics” adds is more certainty to the ID. And the better it is the more it will discourage people and companies from thinking they can get away with coming here and or working illegally. Today employers can say “I saw an ID” and they are off the hook. With a biometric ID this will be very hard or impossible if the person is an illegal alien, or criminal using a phony name.


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