Managing Security Today
Rising concerns for security and integrity have caused the federal government to revisit the issue of who is allowed into the United States. Each year, tens of millions of visas are granted to foreign nationals for reasons varying from education, travel, to even conducting business. Of paramount concern is that about forty percent of the nation’s undocumented immigrants are those who have overstayed their visas. While millions overstay their visas, millions more continue to pour across an open border from Mexico. One proposal made by the Senate to halt or slow illegal immigration is the creation of a national identity card, a standard fare for all democratic nations in Western Europe.
An effort to establish a national identity card was made in 2010, when the Senate proposed a new social security card for U.S. citizens and legal immigrants. This card would be a high-tech, fraud-proof document with biometric sensors. While the new social security card would not contain personal information, it would require all employers to use the card to confirm all employees’ identities and immigrant status. The government is already aware of all people who pay taxes and are legally present, only those illegally present would potentially suffer harm.
Whatever changes Congress may make to existing immigration law, it is painfully obvious that a far better job has to be done. Congress must be wary of potential consequences of changes to existing immigration law. Opponents of the national identity card voice concerns its implementation would violate the fundamental right of privacy. The tightening of immigration laws may also promote racial profiling or encourage an untoward atmosphere of bigotry and fear in the general population.
Jeffrey F. Addicott, Calls for National Identity Card to Halt Illegal Immigration, Managing Security Today, Sept. 2010, at 19.