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Could U.S. immigration reform include a national biometric database?


Reports are emerging today regarding the possibility of a national biometric database of U.S. adults, following references to a “photo tool” administered by the Department of Homeland Security in immigration reform measures currently in front of the U.S. Senate.

According to a report in Wired published this morning, buried in the legislation – called Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act – is “language mandating the creation of an 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 of other state-issued photo ID.”

Under the new system, employers would have to cross-reference new hires in the database to ensure they really are who they claim to be.

Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, this provision is not completely unexpected, as American Senators John McCain and Chuck Schumer previously indicated their framework for immigration reform could require biometric information to check employment status.

The American government has also recently increased its focus on biometrics besides immigration and background checks, as the TSA’s decade-long (and on-going) project involving biometric Transportation Worker Identification Cards (TWIC) was recently called into question by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  

In a scathing report published this week by the GAO, it’s alleged that the TSA and United States Coast Guard didn’t properly record clear baselines and didn’t track malfunctioning TWICs in the system during a pilot test. As such, results filed to Congress by the Department of Homeland Security (which oversees the program) have now been called into question.

A recent Biometric Research Note, authored by BMRG lead researcher Rawlson King suggests the United States should adopt biometric IDs for Social Security and at the time of publishing, argued that it’s conceivable the Obama Administration is on-side.

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2 Replies to “Could U.S. immigration reform include a national biometric database?”

  1. It’s inevitable that something must be done and completed soon, because our personal ID is easily compromised? Lets face it; we already can be identified by our Drivers license, including our Social Security number for the IRS. So what really is the problem anymore? Makes more sense to have a biometric ID card and I would be the first person to stand in line when it’s issued? To me it guarantees I can get a decent job, and not have to worry about the rest of the I-9 and other paraphernalia. Such an ID is perfect, because I have already had my personal information stolen and not only had to deal with an unknown in Texas, but incredulously employed at a security company. During that period somebody also acquired my Social security number and ran up $3600 dollars, using my credit. Even now it still hasn’t come to being resolved, and I now owe the credit card companies this money plus interest, which I refuse to pay? The police report did nothing for me and so I still sit in inanimate over this theft? We had hired three graphic artists and one had obviously rummaged through my desk and found enough personal information to steal my SSN to steal cash. I am really angry and frustrated and I am just one of perhaps hundreds of thousands being duped. Plus, whoever, is using my number in Texas to get a job, has still not been detained as far as I can tell?

    Ideally we wouldn’t have to deal with this problem that is growing in leaps nationwide, but it is YOU who could easily be next? Whatever these bureaucrats come up with, need to do it now–sooner than later? I have thought about being issued a security card of this dimensional aspect and it has many other possibilities, such as being able to vote. In some precinct of the country there is always a controversy over voting rights, especially around the Democrats? What is wrong about going to cast your vote and proving who you are? It doesn’t matter what part of government is being elected, people are screaming blue murder over irregularities? Where there is smoke there seems to be fire, meaning non-citizens are committing perjury and voting regardless of the risk. A national ID card would be perfect to stop any further money spent by municipal, state or federal government in court cases and recounts, etc. As I see it the only persons who would not want a card of this sort issued, are non-citizens, criminals and Dads who owe child support to name a few? Then again fanatics, who see a conspiracy in every dark corner, would also deny this simple ID?

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