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/
[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
 

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:

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.
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

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 -

Admittedly, this could be a 'slippery slope' prediction, but as the entire video is framed with statements about "statists":

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.

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 -

Admittedly, this could be a 'slippery slope' prediction, but as the entire video is framed with statements about "statists":

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
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?
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/
 

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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