Kill This Idea!

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Commentary No American at this moment has to worry about being asked for their papers (or in this case, their identification cards) by police or government agents simply because law enforcement can ask for it. I on the other hand have experienced this type of control in other countries, and it is a very unpleasant experience! Some U.S. senators are proposing creating a special biometric card for those temporary foreign workers or temporary specialists who come to this country. O.K., I see no major problem with this. The whole idea behind this is to prevent identification theft. However, some senators have gotten it into their minds that biometric cards should be issued to U.S. citizens as well for use at the airports to prevent terrorism and help lines of people move more smoothly.

Bad idea! There are a whole number of issues with biometric cards being required for all Americans. First, such cards include their DNA and a fingerprint. This is a clear violation of the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Second, Americans will be required to provide this information at any and all public places—airports, bus stations, even on the highways. This is a violation of the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution—that all Americans should be secure in their person and property except for a search warrant issued by the court for due probable cause. Finally, creating and requiring biometric cards is the beginning of a national identification system where no one has rights, privacy or protections against government intrusion. If people are required to produce identification of their most private information at airports and any other public venue, then what will stop the government from requiring Americans having to carry their biometric cards for voting, buying a firearm, and even going to work or back home?!

The things that Americans can do right now without reporting anything to authorities is due to the protections of the U.S. Constitution. This document protects us from things that happen in too many countries I have seen—arbitrary searches, threats from authorities for “saying the wrong thing,” registering with local authorities every time you move, etc. So far, this idea is just simply an “idea” and nothing more. I personally find it offensive that some lawmakers would even remotely think about proposing something that would take away our civil liberties. Such an idea is an abomination, and should not be allowed to live longer than it already has.

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