The Corner

They Really Are Gonna Give Us All Microchips

Yesterday I wrote a little about the “border security” piece of the Democratic immigration reform bill. But there is another part of the bill that is already drawing the ire of civil libertarians — a proposed biometric national I.D. card.

Within 18 months of passage, the Democratic proposal would have the Social Security Administration pass out photo I.D.s with micro-chips containing unique biometric identifiers for every American. Within five years, the card would become the sole acceptable form of identification required to begin a new job. The proposal explicitly states that the personal information carried on the cards would be limited, and that it will be unlawful for employers or agents of the state to ask to see an individual’s card for anything other than employment eligibility verification.

But it also rouses bureaucratic behemoths from the SSA, IRS, DHS, ICE, and DOD to administer the system, and pays for it with a bevy of new taxes, fines and fees on businesses. Not to mention, the program bears the Orwellian acronym “BELIEVE”  — for Biometric Enrollment, Locally-stored Information, and Electronic Verification of Employment.

Daniel FosterDaniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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