Friday, May 24, 2013

Rand Paul Op-Ed Opposing the National ID Provision in Immigration Reform

In the Washington Times:

I am opposed to immigration reform that contains the photo tool that is contained in the Interior Enforcement and Employment Verification System title of the bill. In the name of preventing the "unlawful employment of aliens," the Senate legislation has a provision that "enables employers to match the photo on a covered identify document provided to the employer to a photo maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services database." This, too, is troubling.

This sounds like a national picture database of all citizens, where the states house the picture and the Department of Homeland Security is the clearinghouse for worker verification. A national database of citizens raises the question: What activities will require someone to present their papers? A national ID allows more power to gravitate to Washington and a greater likelihood that power will be abused.

I will fight to remove the photo tool from this legislation because I think it will become a national ID. We already know the federal government is rife with false positives on the no-fly list and the National Instant Check system for gun buyers. Why would we be foolish enough to think that a massive database of all citizens would not have the same problems on a grander scale?

We have a Second Amendment that must be protected. We also have a Fourth Amendment that must be protected. Citizenship means that the government is supposed to protect our rights, not take them away. We must have stronger borders, but there's no reason we can't have better security while respecting constitutional limits and liberties.

In the past week, we have witnessed examples of the Obama administration spying on the media and Internal Revenue Service discrimination against Tea Party free speech. People around the world always have dreamed of emigrating to America, the Land of the Free. It is our job to make sure our country stays that way.

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