Secretary of Commerce, Gutierrez, pushes the idea of a guest worker program and mandatory Biometric Identification cards for employment while speaking to the Professional Landcare Network's 17th annual legislative conference. Relevant quote from the speech: |
[W]e need a temporary worker's program. It would create a legal means for workers to enter the United States for a limited time.
And we need a biometric card identification system.
We have the technology today to quickly and effectively use a person's unique characteristics, such as a fingerprint, to verify immigration status.
When we have a biometric system--and we have a temporary worker's program--dynamics will change.
Over time, it will become unlikely that people will risk their lives coming across the border illegally if it is well-known that unless you have the temporary worker's permit, you will not find a job.
Gutierrez once again pushed an Orwellian idea of mandatory employment identification cards encoded with biometric data. This is of course to protect us all from the illegal aliens.
Unfortunately many Americans will not question this relinquishment of liberty because they aren't "illegal aliens". And why care about someone else's liberties? Well lets stop and think about how a system such as this would work. All guest workers would be required to have both a temporary worker permit and a Biometric Worker ID Card in order to be employable. So why not just sneak into the country and apply for the job as if you were an American? All thats stopping you is a few documents, a fake SSN, etc. And there it is, these "Worker ID" cards would only work if it were completely mandatory for every employee.
Gutierrez does also want new employment laws requiring more identification and punishment for companies that hire people with their "papers". But if it will be possible with these new laws to punish companies who hire undocumented workers, then why do we need a Biometric Worker ID Card? If the new employment requirements are enough to weed out every illegal alien then what is the purpose of an expensive and complicated Biometric Worker ID Card? Isn't that just a huge waste of money? The temporary workers are already required to have a "temporary worker permit", and this could be tied to a website to check a workers immigration status just as the Worker ID card is supposed to do.
So why is there a push for a Biometric Worker ID Card?
The Biometric Worker ID Card could be the first step to setting up a mandatory employment identification card, which itself could be a step in rolling out a National ID card. The REAL ID Act sets national requirements for data that must be on drivers licenses. The act has provisions for adding biometric and genetic identification to the requirements, so if such a system were to go into place it would likely be tied to driver's licenses.
The technology required for such a system is costly and takes time to setup. If it is beta-tested on a group that many American's don't have feelings for then when the time comes to add biometric data to the REAL ID Act's requirments the congressmen can say "We already have the system in place, this won't cost the taxpayers anything to protect them from (terrorists, meth, illegals, etc)!"
The primary technology being considered for this card is RFID. RFID has so far been successfully read at distances of up to 150 feet. This makes it a good tracking technology since no batteries are required and the cards are supposed to be "tamperproof".
All of this may sound far-fetched or impossible, but consider the fact that former Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson is now on the board of directors for VeriChip, maker of RFID technology and implants. Thompson has been championing the use of implantable RFID, even going across the country on a "Get Chipped" ad campaign. The CEO of Applied Digital, the parent company of VeriChip, has suggested using RFID for immigrants. The first director of US Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, joined the board of directors for Savi Technology (a leader in RFID solutions), last year. Why would the director of homeland security be interested in RFID? Possibly to track people and find terrorists? That would explain why the Government so quickly accepted RFID for passports. In case you weren't aware, an RFID tag will be embedded into all passports starting next month (August 2006).
It appears as though the plan is to first embed biometric data into passports with RFID. Second, build a system using the same technology for illegal immigrants but with the added ability to terminate employment, track and locate individuals for the purpose of stemming illegal immigration when one's temporary worker permit is over. Third, slowly add small groups to the list including sex offenders, prisoners, mentally ill, those in assisted living, etc. These people might be required to have embedded identification in case they get "loose" Then it will move to persons with severe medical conditions, mentally handicapped, newborn babies, and children while they're at school or daycare. This will be for the purpose of tracking and keeping tabs in case of a medical or other emergency and the RFID would likely be in a bracelet or similar non-embedded fashion. The last step is requiring everyone to have identification, or you cannot work or travel.
The ramifications of these draconian systems currently being erected are huge. Once a system like this goes into place it is hard to undo and is capable of exerting a large amount of control. Gone will be your privacy, your freedom of speech, your life as you know it. And for this reason everyone should join together and resist these encroachments of liberty. For this reason those who hate illegal immigration or illegal immigrants should stand alongside the rest of the country because this affects us all.
Read the entire speech.