Ron Paul and the National ID Scheme

Edgukator

Member
Hi guys, this one came out of the "Ron Paul Debunked" thread, where @Oxymoron and I started discussing some of the claims made by Ron Paul. We agreed on the National ID Card as a claim to look at the evidence for.

The Conspiracy Theory

Ron Paul is on record with his opposition to the National ID Card law that was to be part of a bipartisan bill on immigration reform. There is a little hitch in this discussion, as the bill itself was dead on arrival, in part because of the opposition from Ron Paul and others in congress. You can read

Here is a video where Ron Paul lays out his opposition to the law. I have rearranged the argument a little here

- the immigration bill contained a national ID law.
- this National ID Law would require all American citizen's to hold a National ID issued by the State.
- To get a job, you would have to show this National ID to your employer. It would be illegal to employ anyone who does not carry this card.
- This ID would include biometric data, including fingerprints and retinal scans
- ID scans would be expanded overtime to include anytime you traveled, attended public events, and eventually anytime bought anything.
- The biometric technology would allow the government to track every single move a person made.
- Over time, this will lead to control over almost every choice a person makes - where they go to church, what you eat, where you educate your children.

Now, some of this will be hard to debunk, as it is hard to state what would have happened because the bill was derailed before it was completed. I would suggest, however, that the theory falls apart somewhere around the point we start talking about a biometric database.

Is that how you want to start, @Oxymoron?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/05/immigration-reform-dossiers/

The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.

Buried in the more than 800 pages of the bipartisan legislation (.pdf) is language mandating the creation of the innocuously-named “photo tool,” a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver’s license or other state-issued photo ID.

Employers would be obliged to look up every new hire in the database to verify that they match their photo.
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[Edit: The above description seems to be incorrect, based on the actual language of the bill, see below]
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
http://www.judiciary.senate.gov/legislation/EAS13500toMDM13313redline.pdf

Page 179-180

18 the documents specified in subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) and utilizing the System
19 under subsection (d), each employer shall use an identity authentication
20 mechanism described in clause (iii) or provided in clause (iv) after it becomes
21 available to verify the identity of each individual the employer seeks to hire.
22 “(iii) PHOTO TOOL.— 23

“(I) USE REQUIREMENT.—An employer seeking to hire hiring an 24 individual who has a covered identity document shall verify the identity of 25 such individual using the photo tool described in subclause (II). 26

“(II) DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENT.—The Secretary shall develop and 27 maintain a photo tool that enables employers to match the photo on a 28 covered identity document provided to the employer to a photo maintained 29 by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services database. 30

“(iv) ADDITIONAL SECURITY MEASURES.— 31

“(I) USE REQUIREMENT.—An employer seeking to hire an individual 32 whose identity may not be verified using the photo tool described in clause 33 (iii) shall verify the identity of such individual using the additional security 34 measures described in subclause (II). 35

“(II) DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENT.—The Secretary shall develop, after 36 publication in the Federal Register and an opportunity for public comment, 37 specific and effective additional security measures to adequately verify the 38 identity of an individual whose identity may not be verified using the photo 39 tool described in clause (iii). Such additional security measures— 40

“(aa) shall be kept up-to-date with technological advances; and 1

“(bb) shall provide a means of identity authentication in a manner 2 that provides a high level of certainty as to the identity of such 3 individual, using immigration and identifying information that may 4 include review of identity documents or background screening 5 verification techniques using publicly available information.

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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So there's no national ID card, but it suggests there would be a national facial recognition database.

The question would be what "a photo maintained 29 by a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services database." means. The most innocuous interpretation I can think of is that INS would start to gather face prints at the same time as they gather fingerprints (they have my fingerprints) for all immigrants.

I don't see anything mandating it for everyone, or anything about a national ID. All immigrants (like me) are already in a national biometric database with our fingerprints, photos, and normal biometrics of height etc.
 

Edgukator

Member
Thanks Mick...

David Frum did respond to this on the Daily Beast (I know, not my favourite source of information either) with this:

NO AUTHORIZATION OF NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CARDS.—Nothing in this section may be construed to directly or indirectly authorize the issuance, use, or establishment of a national identification card.
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That's right, no National ID card, and a workplace verification system that is little different in theory -- if not practice -- than the status quo.

To recap: there is no "biometric" photo set, the actual biometric data (fingerprints) the government is collecting affects immigrants only, the federal government won't be grabbing your license photos for some massive database, and there is no National ID card - or even a system resembling it - on the way.

I think it would be a bit difficult to require the ID card for immigrants only, and then require them to produce that before they are hired - after all, the claimed problem is that employers feign ignorance that they were employing illegal immigrants. But using Hanlon's Law ("never attribute to malice what could be just as easily explained by stupidity"), this is just as easy to explain by politicians trying to craft a bill that makes everyone happy, and ends up offending everyone in return.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think it would be a bit difficult to require the ID card for immigrants only, and then require them to produce that before they are hired - after all, the claimed problem is that employers feign ignorance that they were employing illegal immigrants. But using Hanlon's Law ("never attribute to malice what could be just as easily explained by stupidity"), this is just as easy to explain by politicians trying to craft a bill that makes everyone happy, and ends up offending everyone in return.

There's no new ID card for immigrants. Just a photo-matching tool, which would use the photos they already have.
 

Edgukator

Member
There's no new ID card for immigrants. Just a photo-matching tool, which would use the photos they already have.

You're right. My bad.

I am still confused as to how exactly this would be carried out though. The employer is required to put a photo of each potential employee into the database, and then that is matched against the database - but is that database intended to contain everybody's face? Just those who have legally come into the country? People who have previously been caught as undocumented workers?
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
Hi guys, this one came out of the "Ron Paul Debunked" thread, where @Oxymoron and I started discussing some of the claims made by Ron Paul. We agreed on the National ID Card as a claim to look at the evidence for.

The Conspiracy Theory

Ron Paul is on record with his opposition to the National ID Card law that was to be part of a bipartisan bill on immigration reform. There is a little hitch in this discussion, as the bill itself was dead on arrival, in part because of the opposition from Ron Paul and others in congress. You can read

Here is a video where Ron Paul lays out his opposition to the law. I have rearranged the argument a little here

- the immigration bill contained a national ID law.
- this National ID Law would require all American citizen's to hold a National ID issued by the State.
- To get a job, you would have to show this National ID to your employer. It would be illegal to employ anyone who does not carry this card.
- This ID would include biometric data, including fingerprints and retinal scans
- ID scans would be expanded overtime to include anytime you traveled, attended public events, and eventually anytime bought anything.
- The biometric technology would allow the government to track every single move a person made.
- Over time, this will lead to control over almost every choice a person makes - where they go to church, what you eat, where you educate your children.

Now, some of this will be hard to debunk, as it is hard to state what would have happened because the bill was derailed before it was completed. I would suggest, however, that the theory falls apart somewhere around the point we start talking about a biometric database.

Is that how you want to start, @Oxymoron?

Thanks for setting out the issue but I am still unclear about which bit is the actual 'Conspiracy Theory', as it appears, (as you state) to be simply a bill which was defeated? I am also confused as to why Ron Paul should be labeled a Conspiracy Theorist for opposing it when many others also opposed it?

Did Ron Paul actually state "- Over time, this will lead to control over almost every choice a person makes - where they go to church, what you eat, where you educate your children." or words to that effect?

I am also confused as to why it should be buried in the 'immigration bill', if it was to apply to all citizens?

It appears very similar to the National Identity Card issue that was envisioned in the U.K by the Labour Government, particularly under Gordon Brown and which also was extremely unpopular.

The scope of the Act, was very extensive.
The introduction of the scheme was much debated, and various degrees of concern about the scheme were expressed by human rights lawyers, activists, security professionals and IT experts, as well as politicians. Many of the concerns focused on the databases underlying the identity cards rather than the cards themselves. The Act specified fifty categories of information that the National Identity Register could hold on each citizen,[2] including up to 10 fingerprints, digitised facial scan and iris scan, current and past UK and overseas places of residence of all residents of the UK throughout their lives and indexes to other Government databases (including National Insurance Number[3]) – which would allow them to be connected. The legislation on this resident register also said that any further information could be added.[4]

The legislation further said that those renewing or applying for passports must be entered on to the NIR. It was expected that this would happen soon after the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), which was formerly the UK Passport Service, started interviewing passport applicants to verify their identity.[5]
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Full implementation was put back on the grounds 'the U.K could not afford the cost of implementing the cards due to the financial crisis'. It was later dropped by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_identity_card

The Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition formed after the 2010 general election announced that the ID card scheme would be scrapped.[6][7] The Identity Cards Act was repealed by the Identity Documents Act 2010 on 21 January 2011, and the cards were invalidated with no refunds to purchasers.[8] Foreign nationals from outside the European Union, however, continue to require an ID card for use as a biometric residence permit under the provisions of the UK Borders Act 2007 and the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.[9][10]
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Wikipedia has this to say about identity documents in the U.S

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity_documents_in_the_United_States
 
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Edgukator

Member
Thanks for setting out the issue but I am still unclear about which bit is the actual 'Conspiracy Theory', as it appears, (as you state) to be simply a bill which was defeated? I am also confused as to why Ron Paul should be labeled a Conspiracy Theorist for opposing it when many others also opposed it?

You're welcome.

I would say there are two parts that make this a conspiracy theory:

1) That the secret intention of this is to expand the card so that it becomes a necessity for other forms of commerce beyond employment (which is, effectively, derived from the old "mark of the beast" prophecy that gets thrown around on the Christian Right - in fact I have heard several Ron Paul supporters refer to the "National ID" as just that - scroll down to the comments).

2) That the biometric data is part of a plot to track American citizens.

As Mick spelled out, the National ID in it was a misnomer (although the biometrics were not), so there is a lot of fear-mongering in this, similar to Sarah Palin's "death panels", where a small clause in the bill was twisted and misconstrued as something else. I can't say I fully understand what the photo tool is meant to be, but its pretty clear its not the ID card Ron Paul claims it is...
 
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Edgukator

Member
Did Ron Paul actually state "- Over time, this will lead to control over almost every choice a person makes - where they go to church, what you eat, where you educate your children." or words to that effect?

From the video I posted -

and you can bet it's only a matter of time until "ID scans" will be required to travel, attend public events or even make routine purposes, as well
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Admittedly, this could be a 'slippery slope' prediction, but as the entire video is framed with statements about "statists":

hiding their true intentions... the statists believe they have the perfect excuse to ratchet up their attacks on our remaining liberties... [and the immigration bill is] being used as a cover for all sorts of statist madness...
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I don't believe I am taking it too out of context to state that he is at least heavily insinuating that it is part of the plan rather than an unintended consequence.

I am also confused as to why it should be buried in the 'immigration bill', if it was to apply to all citizens?

Because one of the over-riding concerns from people opposed to immigration reform is the inability to identify people in the country illegally. One needs only look at the Arizona's (idiotic and possibly unconstitutional) paper's please law to see that this approach is part of the conservative toolbox for dealing with the issue and not some bolt from the blue smuggled into the bill.

I am also confused as to why Ron Paul should be labeled a Conspiracy Theorist for opposing it when many others also opposed it?
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My own take on this is that it is a bill that is trying to please both all sides of the political debate, and in trying to appease conservative opponents to immigration, they have inadvertently set off the libertarian wing. The libertarian (mis)representations of this have, in turn, set off some on the religious right, as it overlaps with their own conspiracy theories. So yes, Ron Paul is not alone, but that does not mean he is not a conspiracy theorist in this instance.
 

Oxymoron

Banned
Banned
From the video I posted -

and you can bet it's only a matter of time until "ID scans" will be required to travel, attend public events or even make routine purposes, as well
Content from External Source
Admittedly, this could be a 'slippery slope' prediction, but as the entire video is framed with statements about "statists":

hiding their true intentions... the statists believe they have the perfect excuse to ratchet up their attacks on our remaining liberties... [and the immigration bill is] being used as a cover for all sorts of statist madness...
Content from External Source
I don't believe I am taking it too out of context to state that he is at least heavily insinuating that it is part of the plan rather than an unintended consequence.

Thanks for the clarification. It is perfectly reasonable to believe the statements were intended, as you say, 'as a slippery slope' prediction. Statism exists. And so do statists and they are predispositioned to bring about or encourage varying different levels of statism. It appears the statists have gone too far in many peoples view, which is why the bill was defeated. It does not appear to be a conspiracy but merely a political objective brought about by due democratic process but which democratically failed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statism
In political science, statism (French: étatisme) is the belief that the state should control either economic or social policy, or both, to some degree.[1][2][3][4] Statism is effectively the opposite of anarchism.[1][2][3][4] Statism can take many forms from Minarchists to Totalitarianism. Minarchists prefer a minimal or night-watchman state to protect people from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud with military, police, and courts.[5][6][7][8] Some may also include fire departments, prisons, and other functions.[5][6][7][8] Welfare state adepts and other such options make up more statist territory of the scale of statism.[9][10] Totalitarians prefer a maximum or all-encompassing state.[11][12][13][14][15]
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statist (ˈsteɪtɪst) — n 1. an advocate of statism
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n
1. an advocate of statism


Because one of the over-riding concerns from people opposed to immigration reform is the inability to identify people in the country illegally. One needs only look at the Arizona's (idiotic and possibly unconstitutional) paper's please law to see that this approach is part of the conservative toolbox for dealing with the issue and not some bolt from the blue smuggled into the bill.
Immigration is a concern for many nations. How it is enforced and how people are treated whilst their bona fide is investigated is often delicate. Is it not a good idea that citizens can quickly and easily produce biometric identification to show their status and prove who they are? Is it not beneficial that they be delayed for moments rather than hours whilst checks are run to make sure they are who they claim to be?
I am also confused as to why Ron Paul should be labeled a Conspiracy Theorist for opposing it when many others also opposed it?
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My own take on this is that it is a bill that is trying to please both all sides of the political debate, and in trying to appease conservative opponents to immigration, they have inadvertently set off the libertarian wing. The libertarian (mis)representations of this have, in turn, set off some on the religious right, as it overlaps with their own conspiracy theories. So yes, Ron Paul is not alone, but that does not mean he is not a conspiracy theorist in this instance.
Would it not more appropriately termed 'political fears' rather than fears of a conspiracy?
 

Edgukator

Member
Thanks for the clarification. It is perfectly reasonable to believe the statements were intended, as you say, 'as a slippery slope' prediction. Statism exists. And so do statists and they are predispositioned to bring about or encourage varying different levels of statism.

So what do you make of the framing of the statement by the information that came before it. When the previous four or five sentences all reference the deliberate scheming of "statists", how do you not use that context when interpreting sentence number six?

Immigration is a concern for many nations. How it is enforced and how people are treated whilst their bona fide is investigated is often delicate. Is it not a good idea that citizens can quickly and easily produce biometric identification to show their status and prove who they are? Is it not beneficial that they be delayed for moments rather than hours whilst checks are run to make sure they are who they claim to be?

I absolutely agree, but that was not the question you were asking. You were asking why such a measure would be slipped into the bill. "Never attribute to malice what is just as easily attributable to stupidity". The Republican Party has, in other instances, pushed through just such a "solution" to immigration on a local level, so why is it perceived as being "hidden" in this instance?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
More debunking.

http://thinkprogress.org/immigratio...rong-on-the-immigration-bills-biometric-data/

What People Get Wrong On The Immigration Bill’s Biometric Data
BY ANDREA PETERSON ON MAY 13, 2013 AT 4:26 PM

On Friday, a Wired headline warned there is a “Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform.” The claim stemmed from a section of the bill that calls for the creation of a “photo tool” to help employers authenticate the identity of prospective employees by comparing them to a photo database — essentially an extension of the existing E-Verify program using — and has been thoroughly debunked, but many of the debunkers have gotten one key fact wrong: Your face most definitely is a biometric identifier.

First, let’s be clear that the bill does not mandate the creation of a giant biometric database of everyone. The legislation does call for biometric information like finger prints to be collected by the government about undocumented immigrants currently in the country as part of the process of determining provisional immigration status, but that will not include American citizens. The State Department also already maintains a database of visa and passport photos it uses for immigration and travel purposes. And while there is a section about an employment photo tool in the bill, under U.S. v. Printz, it would be unconstitutional for the federal government to compel states to allow access state ID photos without the state entering into an agreement to share that information — certainly possible, but not in the legislation.
...
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It seems a bit of a waste of time to try to justify one way or another vague statements about creeping statism. You could make that accusation about any federal bill.

The thread would have better been started with a single specific quote from Paul that could be conclusively debunked.
 
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