Wow, Dick Durbin surges forward in the Dash to Dumb with his call for a national ID card:
A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation’s immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday.
Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.
...The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.
It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases.
Work authorization data bases? The ACLU squawked, but let's cut right to the comedy:
But Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), who has worked on the proposal and helped unveil it at a press conference Thursday, predicted the public has become more comfortable with the idea of a national identification card.
“The biometric identification card is a critical element here,” Durbin said. “For a long time it was resisted by many groups, but now we live in a world where we take off our shoes at the airport and pull out our identification.
“People understand that in this vulnerable world, we have to be able to present identification,” Durbin added. “We want it to be reliable, and I think that’s going to help us in this debate on immigration.”
We need national ID cards or the terrorist win? I deplore this fear-mongering, just as I know earnest libs deplored the fear-mongering of the Bush era.
But reflect with me - forcing passengers to remove their shoes prior to boarding a flight may deter some aspiring shoe bomber, and I think there is a strong societal consensus that having airplanes fall out of the sky unexpectedly is a bad thing.
But requiring a person to show an ID card before serving coffee at a local deli prevents what - bad coffee? Forcing a lawn care service to ID their workers prevents what - crabgrass? I'll take my chances ("Danger" is my middle name...).
Somewhat more seriously (I am making an effort here), the complaint in Arizona that sparked their controversial new law is that they are being overrun with illegal drug smugglers, illegal human smugglers, and illegal workers. If, I say IF Durbin's new ID card was effective and IF small, off-the-book employers that are currently ignoring Social Security requirements and other work-related rules actually played along, we would still have done nothing to deter illegal drug smugglers. Or does Durbin think the drug cartels will be applying for ID cards for their workers and enrolling them in the new health exchanges?
Terrorists are physically dangerous. Drug smugglers are physically dangerous. Most illegal workers are only dangerous to the wages of the Americans they might be displacing. Let's not muddle the dangers here.