Rand Paul amendment would bar national ID system

However, the bill calls for a dramatic expansion of a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) federal worker verification program designed to keep illegal immigrants out of American jobs. Currently, a small fraction of employers use the electronic system, called E-Verify, but it would be mandatory for all firms within four years of the bill’s enactment.

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It would also incorporate “biometric,” or photo-matching components that some find unsettling, particularly in the wake of a series of scandals that has raised questions about the governments monitoring of the citizenry.

“A National ID card violates our right to privacy by helping to consolidate data and facilitate the government in the tracking of individuals,” Paul (R-Ky.) said in a statement. “While identifying and documenting immigrants is necessary for proper reform, implementing a mandatory identification registry for all citizens is not.”

The amendment, called the Protect Our Privacy Act, is designed to keep Homeland Security officials from interpreting the Gang of Eight’s bill as permitting a national ID system.

It would prohibit the federal government – and states – from requiring photographs or biometric information without legal cause, block a provision in the bill allowing the government to require citizens to provide a photo, and prohibit “a de facto national registry of citizens,” Paul said.