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US Immigration Bill May Bring a National Biometric ID Card 619

schwit1 sends this quote from the Wall Street Journal: "Lawmakers working to craft a new comprehensive immigration bill have settled on a way to prevent employers from hiring illegal immigrants: a national biometric identification card all American workers would eventually be required to obtain. Under the potentially controversial plan still taking shape in the Senate, all legal US workers, including citizens and immigrants, would be issued an ID card with embedded information, such as fingerprints, to tie the card to the worker. ... A person familiar with the legislative planning said the biometric data would likely be either fingerprints or a scan of the veins in the top of the hand. It would be required of all workers, including teenagers, but would be phased in, with current workers needing to obtain the card only when they next changed jobs, the person said. The card requirement also would be phased in among employers, beginning with industries that typically rely on illegal-immigrant labor."
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US Immigration Bill May Bring a National Biometric ID Card

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  • Papers Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nesman64 ( 1093657 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @09:59AM (#31412830) Homepage

    I must see your papers.

  • Another card? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by snspdaarf ( 1314399 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @09:59AM (#31412836)
    Why do we need another card? Seems to me that identity thieves have enough things to use already.
  • national ID (Score:4, Insightful)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:02AM (#31412880)
    This is a National ID card. Call it what it is and be done with it, don't try to hide it as part of an immigration bill.
  • Meh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Alarindris ( 1253418 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:02AM (#31412890)
    Who wants to bet that employers will just have a paper form to check off that they looked at your card rendering all the bio stuff useless?

    The only reason I mention that is because a social security card is also 'required' for employment, although I lost mine when I was a kid and have never shown it to any of my employers.

    I tell them I forgot it and they never ask again.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:06AM (#31412932)

    Meet the new boss (administration), same as the old boss

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Xiph ( 723935 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:06AM (#31412940)

    Wonderful how only the workers need ID-card.
    Maybe Benito Mussolini was on to something with the comparisons between corporatism and fascism, now you'll find out in USA.

  • Re:Not with Obama (Score:4, Insightful)

    by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:07AM (#31412950) Homepage

    I find this hard to believe. Obama already gets enough grief about

    Obama's not in the senate. He hasn't been in the senate since he became president. This proposal is in the senate. Stop obama bashing.

    Just because Schumer is meeting with Obama does not mean Obama is responsible for this idea. According ot the article, a source in the white house said they have no official stance.

    Personally, this is the first time I have seen the democrats sell something properly. They are targetting this towards everyone, but their language is focusing on immigrants. Republicans are against national IDs, but they are more likely to be for it when we start throwing out the words "immigrants"

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:07AM (#31412952) Homepage Journal
    While I applaud the idea of FINALLY starting to do something about illegal migrant workers in this country, I do not favor a national ID card. It is bad enough that they try to use SS as one, but, I do not want a sanctioned national id.

    Sure, they'll start off requiring it ONLY for workers, but I'm sure they'll soon find creative ways to use it. I'm sure you can use it then to check for flight access. How about with cashing checks or even credit cards, nifty way to track purchases....maybe even stores will start to want to use it too as a replacement for courtesy cards, nice way to track what you're buying. Hey, that might even work with nationalized health care, I mean we can now see that you buy WAY too much alcohol and cigarettes, I think we'll withold some of that care from you due to life choices.

    Yep, I'm sure the govt types will be able to come up with new, nifty ways to use a national so many ways to help our poor law enforcement community. At the very least, you might even could use them to safeguard who logs onto the internet..?

  • Re:So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:09AM (#31412988) Homepage

    That's the way it goes, and part of the reason why I turned my back on what the Republican party has become.

    "Government, stay outta my life! Unless it's gay marriage, prayer in schools, pot, or mexicans. Then you need to regulate the fuck out of it!"

    And they wonder why people look down on them...

    To be fair, the Democrats are just as bad...the difference being that Democrats like to pretend they aren't lying to you, while Republicans lie right to your face. Either way, still lying.

  • by pavon ( 30274 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:09AM (#31412992)

    This is something that we need to harp on everytime the subject comes up. You cannot pass laws against illegal aliens to prevent them from working or participating in social programs, because we don't know who they are. You can only pass laws against everyone requiring them to prove they are a citizen. To require us to beg government approval before we can work or attend school, and hope there isn't a clerical error, or we never lose our papers at a bad time, or that the government won't someday extend this program to a larger scope.

    There are no laws against illegal aliens, there are only laws stating that we are all assumed guilty of being illegal aliens until we prove ourselves innocent.

  • by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:12AM (#31413036) Homepage

    hey why not add thier bank account data, IRS payment status, medical history, criminal record, fbi and other three letter agency file indices... I'm sure you could think of even more things that would make your life and the governements easier. Don't worry, next week the Senate takes up the 'lets wipe everyone's ass for them' bill.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by confused one ( 671304 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:14AM (#31413068)
    It's you need an ID card to work. "They" want to disenfranchise you, they deny you an ID card. Then you can't work. No work, no money. No money, you become disenfranchised. Then you don't exist.
  • Re:Papers please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:14AM (#31413080) Homepage

    I posted this yesterday in a different story, but it seems appropriate for this one as well: []

  • Wow! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by schon ( 31600 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:16AM (#31413120)

    flight access [...] cashing checks or even credit cards [...]to track purchases [...] replacement for courtesy cards [...] health care, I mean we can now see that you buy WAY too much alcohol and cigarettes [...]the govt types will be able to come up with new, nifty ways to use a national id

    Wow - just WOW. You are aware that with the exception of "national health care", EVERYTHING you mentioned would be done by private businesses, right? And if idiots like you get their way and there is no "national health care", private insurance companies could use it the same way, right?

    Don't get me wrong - such an ID is a horrible idea - but it's a horrible idea because it will be abused by corporations.

    (Yes, I know - all the libertardians will now proceed to mod me down and talk about how the invisible market fairy will make it all better.)

  • The Plans... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bsDaemon ( 87307 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:16AM (#31413124)
    Ok, so worker will be required to get it when they next change jobs, and the industries that will be forced to require this first are the ones which typically hire the most illegals. The industries that hire the most illegals are construction, food service, etc. Those are also the industries where people are going to need to "change jobs" pretty soon, especially construction, due that sector having been hit the hardest by the economic issues. Yet again, this is just another way to control the poorer workers, all the while making them feel like having to register body scans to get a job building houses is for their own good 'cause it'll keep "illegals" from getting the jobs or "terrorists" from blowing them up.

    How come its OK for capital to transfer across borders but labor can't move freely? How come I have to go through more trouble to get legal working status in another country than I do to invest in a foreign stock market? Is it because the nation state is the new lord's estate and they want to keep me on the manor? And to make sure we don't get any funny ideas, the Daddy Party tries to tell us we should hate our neighbors and do anything necessary to keep them out, fomenting racism and causing all sorts of animosity on both sides of the border, and the water, making sure that we're just as unwelcome abroad as they are here... screw this shit.
  • Great idea! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:19AM (#31413156) Homepage

    Well, this completely solves the illegal immigration problem! I mean, it's not like people will give illegal immigrants jobs if they don't have valid "job cards." After all, then they would need to pay the immigrants cash under the table or something. And, of course, these cards will be 100% forgery proof so immigrants won't be able to just get a fake ID.

    Plus, there are no privacy concerns at all. I mean a card with your fingerprint and other personal information sitting right in your wallet? That's the most secure place I can think of. Nobody would ever lose their wallet or have it stolen. The card could never, ever go missing leading to identity theft. Nope. Simply impossible.

    Oh and did I mention the "E-Verify" online system to check the ID card's validity. A stroke of genius! It's sure to be 100% hack-proof like all good government sites are.

    Finally, there's no way this would ever be used for anything other than jobs. There will be no temptation for our completely honest politicians to extend this to travel, voting or any other use.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I need to clean my glasses. I think there's a smudge on the rose-colored lens.

  • implant (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TheMonkeyhouse ( 1271112 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:23AM (#31413206)
    awesome - this is the first step towards automatic identification - soon we will have the RFID chip implanted under your skin so with one wave of your hand anyone can know everything about you!

    i knew something like this would happen when immigration moved under the auspices of the Department of Fatherland Security.

    and RFID is so much nicer than barcodes or numbers just written straight on the skin...
  • by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:28AM (#31413268) Journal

    Uhmm... Using a stolen SSN to get a job... Wouldn't that mean the social security benefits aquired over the years in that job would be credited to the original owner of that number?

    And the income taxes that would be owed for said income....

    This whole thing is pointless anyway. Does Congress really live in a fantasy land where illegal immigrants are hired to positions where they supply SSNs, drivers licenses, etc? In my experience the vast majority of businesses employing illegal labor do so by paying them in cash. "Come work with us for a day putting up drywall, there's a few sawbucks in it for you." No amount of biometrics will stop this.

  • Re:Papers please! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by scrib ( 1277042 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:29AM (#31413280)

    Love the link!

    I think US lawmakers have forgotten the Declaration of Independence: "ALL men are ... endowed ... with certain unalienable rights..." Infringing on the rights of US citizens just so you can infringe on the rights of non-US citizens even more is tragically misguided.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rhsanborn ( 773855 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:30AM (#31413296)
    Ummm...actually, that's exactly what they want to do. They want to force employers to only hire people with "papers". The idea being that illegal immigrants can't get "papers" and will therefore be unable to work. It's actually a two phased plan. They require employees to have this ID card, they also require employers to check that employees have said ID card and are verified to work in the US. It's currently difficult to prove that an employer knowingly hired someone who isn't allowed to work in the US. This allows the government to prove that employers didn't check their employees worker status, which is far easier to prosecute.

    The ultimate goal is that illegal immigrants won't be allowed to work here. The unfortunate side effect is that immigration is going to be even more of a nightmare for people who are legal to work in the US. And suddenly, many Americans are going to find themselves having to get lawyers and work out paperwork when their cards don't come up valid, or they lose them, etc.
  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by characterZer0 ( 138196 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:37AM (#31413384)

    do something about illegal migrant workers in this country

    Yeah, we need to get rid of all those people harvesting the food we eat. That will fix everything!

  • Re:Another card? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:38AM (#31413418)

    Fortunately, I somehow doubt that the rest of the world is going to start adopting universal ID because one or two governments think it's a good idea. At the risk of triggering Godwin's Law, Germany doesn't exactly have a great record in this area. And lately, the US probably has the most abusive anti-privacy/state intrusion laws in the western world, and I think many other places are getting a bit sick of the US throwing its weight around.

    Meanwhile, privacy and the database state are becoming a significant electoral issue here in the UK, where we've had more than our fair share of state intrusion under the Blair/Brown administrations. Far more politicians are making an active campaign issue out of promoting privacy issues than "war on terror" and similar rhetoric. And I get the feeling many of our neighbours have always felt more strongly about this than we collectively have until recently.

  • by RenHoek ( 101570 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:41AM (#31413460) Homepage

    It's funny how a lot of Americans are shouting "Dey took our jerbs!", but when you actually offer them the jobs that illegal immigrants are doing, i.e. scrubbing toilets for low wages, then suddenly they are too good for that kind of work.

    Illegal immigrants do not take away high-pay jobs, and those actual high pay jobs are routinely shipped off to India and alike anyway. Those immigrants are greasing the wheels of the economy, doing jobs that nobody else wants to do.

    I see it in my own country (Netherlands) where we have to ship in seasonal workers to harvest asparagus crops because they just can't get the local people to do the hard work.

    It'll be interesting to see the effects of this plan.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:48AM (#31413554) Journal

    The idea being that illegal immigrants can't get "papers" and will therefore be unable to work

    Yeah, that'll work. Just the other day I stopped at the corner and picked up a guy named "Jose" to help me put up drywall, alas he didn't have a social security card and wasn't able to accept the greenbacks I was offering him. Guess I'll have to hire someone with papers next time.

    And suddenly, many Americans are going to find themselves having to get lawyers and work out paperwork when their cards don't come up valid, or they lose them, etc.

    Why would that bother anybody in Congress? Most of them are lawyers after all. You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.....

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:53AM (#31413624)

    Then you can't work. No work, no money. No money, you become disenfranchised

    No, then you just start receiving Government handouts and they know you'll vote Democrat for the rest of your life.....

    And how were you planning to vote, with no ID card?

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @10:55AM (#31413662) Homepage

    Sorry, WHAT? How is this any different from the I-9 verification forms that you're required to complete when starting a new job?

    I honestly can't see how this is any worse than a Social Security card, passport, credit card, or drivers license. If you don't have one of those things, you're probably living completely off the grid anyway, and won't be affected by this at all.

    I'm mindful of civil liberties, but fail to see how this would do anything to change the status quo, apart from cutting down on counterfeiting.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Loki_1929 ( 550940 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:04AM (#31413760) Journal

    Actually, Democrats have routinely opposed attempts to require some form of ID to vote (apparently it causes issues with double-voting, dead people voting, etc). So really, the two posts above your's are perfectly coherent with the available information.

    The only question is, what's the alternative? A third party that can't hope to get anywhere in the rigged game set up by the two major parties? Vote in the Republicans and let them have yet another go at breaking every promise? Sit home and whine? I don't know about you, but I'm searching for something to have faith in in our political system and I'm not coming up with a whole lot of realistic choices.

  • Re:The Plans... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:05AM (#31413766)

    How come its OK for capital to transfer across borders but labor can't move freely?

    Because capital doesn't carry culture with it, and labor does.

    Capital is pretty much interchangeable; convert dollars to euros to yen to gold ounces -- it's still roughly the same amount of wealth. Do you care if your neighbor is saving wealth in dollars at the bank, or gold buried in his backyard? Most people won't care.

    Do you care if your neighbor is from your own culture and thus understands, for example, that it's not acceptable to make loud noises at night because most folks work during the day? And thus someone from a culture where partying outside well into the morning hours is going to be bothering the hell out of you? Yeah, you'll care about that. And in that type of situation, a lot of people are going to start hating each other.

    That's the kind of thing that happens when labor crosses borders. But that's exactly the kind of thing that libertarian analysis completely ignores, since it doesn't have a dollar sign attached to it.

  • by macaddict ( 91085 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:06AM (#31413782)

    A driver's license is proof you had training in operating a potentially dangerous piece of machinery around others. Which is why they have ticky boxes for things like "chauffeur" and "commercial" on it. You know, because it's about driving. I agree, it shouldn't be used for anything other than employment as a driver, traffic violations, and insurance purposes! In fact, it's a perfect example of how the "oh, this card will only be used for X" is so easily corrupted!

    Want to know what hysteria is? It's the "OMG TEH MEXICANS ARE STEALIN' MAH JOB!". Nevermind that these 'patriot' xenophobes tend to be the same group that practically worship symbols like the Statue of Liberty, but don't even bother to learn the inscription she carries (I'll give you a hint: "Give me your tired, your poor...") Instead of radio-collaring everyone, why don't we concentrate on fixing the broken immigration system that keeps legal applicants in limbo for years, pushing some to come here illegally instead. Oh wait, that's going to take a lot of effort and won't appease the xenophobes, so let's just put a shiny band-aid on it to get re-elected. (And with all the immigration hysteria, the fools won't even notice that we've chipped away a little more of their freedom!)

  • by macs4all ( 973270 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:08AM (#31413812)

    Illegal immigrants do not take away high-pay jobs, and those actual high pay jobs are routinely shipped off to India and alike anyway. Those immigrants are greasing the wheels of the economy, doing jobs that nobody else wants to do.


    Because, until the massive influx of ILLEGAL immigrants in the U.S., toilets everywhere went unscrubbed, burgers went unflipped, no construction happened, lawns went unmowed, assembly-lines were silent...

    Keep on keepin' on regurgitating the "They only take the jobs nobody else wants" line.

    I have a good friend that is a ceramic-tile-setter. That is NOT a "Job nobody else wants." At 48 years old, his career (making about $20-30 an hour) is OVER; simply because he simply cannot support his family on the wages that an entire crew of ILLEGAL immigrants (who sleep THREE FAMILIES to a house) can be hired for.

    Sorry, the onslaught of ILLEGAL immigrants (in the U.S., mostly Mexicans) has ruined the U.S. economy. You see, it's a "trickle-UP" effect.

  • Never happen (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Codger ( 96717 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:11AM (#31413850)

    Between the libertarian right, the religious crazies who will conflate this with the "mark of the beast", and the lefties who don't trust law enforcement, this will never get through Congress. If it ever came to a vote, the uproar in the intertubes and talk radio would be deafening and the tea party loonies would all die of apoplexy.

  • Wake up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:13AM (#31413866)

    The unfortunate side effect is that immigration is going to be even more of a nightmare for people who are legal to work in the US

    You think that is the only unfortunate side effect, or even the most significant?

    The potential for government abuse of this system is very high. The government can use it to track its own people without warrant, to further the current problem if lifetime punishments for every crime, and to silence anyone with an unfavorable opinion. Furthermore, this increases the risk of identity theft victimization, since swiping this card, or the information on it, is all such a thief will need to do (and don't think for a second that this unique identifier won't be used for credit applications, phone service, and everything else that the SSN is used for today (and more)).

    This has "bad idea" written all over it, but is being sold as a solution to a problem that only exists because the government refuses to enforce its CURRENT POLICIES (and not due to their expense, but rather, due to the high demand for cheap foreign labor among donating businesses).

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:15AM (#31413894) Homepage Journal

    Right, and currently you need a SS card to work so your employer can pay their share of your SS. Your SS card already has your full name on it, which they can cross reference with your driver's licence and any references you list. The problem is that employers don't always do this (especially with more obvious possible immigrants, like those who don't speak english and don't have a name on their SS card that fits their ethnic background). Right now counterfeiting a SS card is pretty easy. All you're doing is raising the bar on what counterfeiters have to do to sell their ID cards.
    How many construction companies are really going to scan the veins (for the card, as suggested by the article) of their spanish speaking construction workers?
    Adding another ID card does nothing but add more paperwork, more complexity, and more counterfeits. It doesn't solve the root cause and at best it's a band-aid for immigration problems.

  • by I'm not really here ( 1304615 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:16AM (#31413906)
    There is one major difference between a license to drive and a license to work. If I wanted to, I can drop off the grid. I can just not renew my license, get a bicycle, stop using credit cards, do odd jobs for cash or barter, pay cash for everything, and completely disappear. There is nothing illegal about this (other than tax evasion, if you are earning more than $8000 per year, but I'm sure there are legal ways to deal with paying taxes while not having an official address), as there is nothing mandating that I have a driver's license, nor anything forcing me to use credit/debit cards.

    If, however, a license to work is created, then the step "do odd jobs for cash or barter" becomes illegal if I don't have this license to work. Now, there is no option for me to drop off the grid. I have no choice.

    I know at this point it's a small difference (almost to the point of not existing), and that 99.99% of society likely has some form of ID that allows the government to track them, but the point is that, to date, all forms of ID are effectively voluntary. Take away my ability to get paid to work, a basic requirement for survival, and we've got a serious problem. It's the principle of the thing—Right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This inability to work stifles my ability to pursue happiness (a starving man cannot be happy - see Maslow's hierarchy of needs), and in the long run, through starvation, would remove my right to Life itself. Essentially, the government is trying to get me to give up part of my right to Life and my right to pursue happiness in exchange for eliminating the illegal immigrant problem. Screw that. I'd rather let the whole world in than give up the last vestiges of my freedom to choose whether or not I wish to have "papers" to identify myself.
  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:18AM (#31413954)

    Then they'll stop hiring people even illegally and pay them by the day, because the employers will still need workers and the immigrants will still need the money, what you should ask for is the numbers that actually prove that it will help in any way. So far I can only see a better tracking method and a measure to send american jobs to americans only. Anyway, what's wrong with the old system? Won't the papers be processed the same way, no matter what type of ID?

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slashdot ... minus physicist> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:22AM (#31414016)

    Which of course is futile, since they hire people without papers anyway. Just like in every other country where you need papers to get a job.

    And they know that. So it’s not to keep off the “illegal immigrants” at all.

  • Re:Papers please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:24AM (#31414048)

    Remember kids, privacy != freedom

    It's been well-established that a lack of privacy discourages people from peaceful assembly and accessing other tools necessary to the success of a democracy. When we have designated protest zones in cages tipped with razor wire and a hundred cameras covering every angle, and people being profiled by the FBI and investigated as potential subversives for doing this, it becomes clear that privacy, while not being the same as freedom, is essential to it. One cannot survive without the other.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:54AM (#31414504) Journal

    The more unfortunate side effect is that the price of your garden salad will probably quadruple. All of this in the age old quest to stop more Catholics from immigrating.

  • Think of the fines (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iwaybandit ( 1632765 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:56AM (#31414528)
    Some employers may stop hiring illlegals, others will take the risk and continue hiring them. The glut of unemployed illegals will drive their wages down and increase the margins realized the employer hiring them.

    This is what the government wants. An employer caught hiring illegals will be fined and have assets confiscated. It will be a profit center for government, prosecuting and deporting illegals is not.
  • by radish ( 98371 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:57AM (#31414542) Homepage

    You know what? When some people find that their job doesn't pay enough for their lifestyle they look for a new, better paid job. Sometimes they go back to school to learn new skills, sometimes other people in the household start working so that they whole family isn't supported by one person (which is increasingly impossible).

    Of course some people just sit back on their asses and complain that it's the mexicans' fault for taking all the work. But that doesn't make sense - why is this guy entitled to more money just because of where he was born? Why should I (as the customer wanting my bathroom tiled) pay more just because he wants me to? And why should the government penalise people willing to work for less? Do we complain when Newegg sells us memory cheaper than elsewhere?

    It's really simple - if you're selling something in a market, be it a product or a service, no one owes you customers. No one owes you a business model (see copyright & RIAA, it's a popular topic around here). If you're charging too much, lower your prices. If you can't make enough profit at those prices, offer something else to distinguish yourself (maybe he does better quality work? maybe he could partner with a designer?). If that still doesn't work - figure out a different way to make money.

  • Re:Another card? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @11:59AM (#31414570)

    You don't seem to understand - It's more a case of extreme capitalism than socialism in this case. People have been bitching for years about how illegal immigrants were "stealing" their jobs because they're willing to work for way below minimum wage and the corporations that hire them are more than willing to let it fly under the radar for the lower cost of employment. This isn't the way to stop it, but it's just one of many signs that show that the Western World is headed for a much more totalitarian method of governing.

    I mean, for that matter, a two-party system like that in the United States isn't really a whole lot better than a one-party system - Hell, most of them have the same corporate agendas anyway. There's this strange gap between Americans when it comes to the Republicans/Democrats, but in the end, they both do pretty much exactly the same things, the status quo is pretty much always maintained, and it's more a matter of dick-waving than anything else to claim one party is inferior/socialist/evil compared to the other. Hell, you might as well say you only have one party to begin with.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:02PM (#31414634)

    Surely illegal workers wont need one? People who are willing to hire illegals now will still hire them card or not - it will just serve to drive wages lower still.

  • by moxley ( 895517 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:05PM (#31414680)


    ( addition to the obvious reasons why this is such an awful idea, there is going to be a very large population of people who will see this as "the mark of the beast.")

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:06PM (#31414696)

    do something about illegal migrant workers in this country

    Yeah, we need to get rid of all those people harvesting the food we eat. That will fix everything!

    You're old enough to remember when American teenagers used to work the fields for extra cash during the summer, aren't you? Or maybe corn detassling done by American preteens? It's all migrant workers now. Fast food is filled with non-English speakers. Mid-scale restaurants need bilingual head-chefs these days (and no, I'm not talking about Mexican restaurants). Kids can't get the jobs they used to get these days.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:07PM (#31414716)
    I don't actually have a problem with ID cards. But I'll play.

    maybe its to avoid paying taxes? you SHOULD pay taxes, to support the very country that values the liberty and freedom you hold so dear

    "No taxation without representation!"
    - The paranoid ravings of some traitor to the British Crown, just before a bunch of tea got dumped into Boston Harbor.

    intellectual property law is philosophically incoherent. it is your moral duty to ignore it

    Interesting choice of .sig you've got there, Citizen. Your cognitive dissonance is showing.

  • Re:Wake up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by conspirator57 ( 1123519 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:10PM (#31414768)

    track its own people without warrant


    through everything you buy or do that requires ID. Air travel, train travel, and i think even bus travel now. just add a spiffy new ID scanner to the TSA agent checking your ID and viola, yet another database that knows who everyone is and where they're going. no one would evar misuse that...

    lifetime punishments for every crime


    notice how crimes these days aren't just one charge, they're like 8 at a minimum, and if the prosecutor thinks he can get away with it he throws terrorism on top to boost his resume? yeah. that. overly broad criminal statutes with redunculous sentences. not to mention 3 strikes laws.

    silence anyone with an unfavorable opinion


    you know, like how it's not socially tolerable to question any of the measures that reduce freedom "for our own good". or suggest that some aren't effective. or suggest alternatives that don't destroy freedom. or how people who do these things are branded as kooks, kinda like when Ron Paul threw the 9/11 commission findings in Giulianni's face. which was particularly funny because Giulianni was listed as an author of the report. yeah. that.

    Please stop being so paranoid. It's not healthy.

    please wake the hell up and smell the fascism. it's not healthy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:14PM (#31414828)

    Have fun not having a job then I guess.

    If only more people were like you and just said "no" to mandatory government programs...

  • Re:Wake up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:15PM (#31414848) Journal
    Of course, the real solution will be that the data is encrypted on the card, and you either give a pin, or the feds have a pin for it to unlock it. I am not wild about ID cards, but I am also oppose to illegals destroy our economy (and yes, they are costing America HUGE, along with the outsourcing). EU nations handle it by requiring IDs for every legal person to have a card. So do many other nations. In the end, the question is, do we continue on this mutual suicide path, or do we take risks with the feds? Up until about 2002-2003 (and ignoring such times as 1940 ), I would have said that this was ideal. In fact, when Eisenhower did his infamous operation wetback, we actually sent Americans over the border to Mexico because they could not prove who they were just due to skin color. Oddly, most of those spoke ONLY english, and little Spanish.. Something like this would prevent such actions.
  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shotgun ( 30919 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:18PM (#31414896)

    Immigration isn't difficult to control. Just go around to all the constructions sites and haul in all the workers that can't speak English. No, this isn't a troll. Those that can't speak English at all will either have some very fresh papers saying they can work here, or they will have a concerned family member monitoring them.

    But even then. This is a lame excuse for a national ID card. The "illegal immigrants" are here because they can make more in a month here than they can in a year at home. Our government could stop this illegal immigration in its tracks with a little patrolling of the border. But guess what; nobody in power wants to stop the flow of CHEAP labor. If they wanted, REALLY wanted, to contol the flow, they could set up a VISA system to control the work.

    An American employer would submit a request to a government agency responsible for vetting and admitting the immigrants. The same agency would have oversight of working conditions and seeing that the immigrants receive fair pay. The work gets done, everything is legal, and everyone's rights are protected.

    It's a simple solution that would be much less expensive than the current law enforcement model, and much less obtrusive that the current or future scams of making every citizen carry work papers. It won't happen though. "Illegal immigration" is just a red herring to distract people into surrendering their civil rights.

  • by einhverfr ( 238914 ) <> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:19PM (#31414918) Homepage Journal

    However, consider that revoking a card would be necessary but you can't necessarily revoke the information on the card, or if you do, you cause someone a great deal of grief. There are reasons why biometric data is considered to be the weakest form of strong security.

    There is a great deal of potential for abuse here, just with the no-fly lists, etc, but this is worse because I can still drive my car across the country (I might not be able to if I didn't have income though). There is no life in prison for every crime, and our courts won't let that happen as long as they are open for business. However, I am concerned that someone might pull strings to get cards revoked in order to mess with political opponents (I seriously doubt Sen. Kennedy's inclusion on the No-Fly list was entirely accidental).

  • Re:Papers please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThosLives ( 686517 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:22PM (#31414974) Journal

    I think this highlights the difference between 'privacy' and 'anonymity.' Subtly different concepts. I think when most people scream 'privacy!' they are really advocating anonymity.

    Privacy is being able to do things without others knowing about it. Anonymity is being able to do something without people knowing who you are. Notably privacy implies anonymity, but anonymity does not imply privacy. Case in point: if you are speeding in traffic, people know that there is someone speeding - it is not a private activity. However, they don't know *who* is speeding (even if they see you - you are still anonymous) so that is an anonymous activity.

    (Sadly, the problem is that most people want anonymity because they don't want to suffer consequences for their actions. I can't say I advocate anonymity in all cases - some activities should have consequences. What I would rather argue is if there should be consequences for certain actions in the first place. If that problem is solved, then privacy/anonymity concerns would be irrelevant.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:26PM (#31415054)

    Because, until the massive influx of ILLEGAL immigrants in the U.S., toilets everywhere went unscrubbed, burgers went unflipped, no construction happened, lawns went unmowed, assembly-lines were silent...

    No, the jobs were done by a workforce with ever-increasing demands for money.

    At 48 years old, his career (making about $20-30 an hour) is OVER; simply because he simply cannot support his family on the wages that an entire crew of ILLEGAL immigrants (who sleep THREE FAMILIES to a house) can be hired for.

    Ahhh...NOW we're getting to the root of the problem. the cost of living has increased to the point that people cannot subsist on minimum-wage jobs (or jobs somewhat higher pay). Or is it that people want so much crap that they need more and more money?
    How is it that an entire crew of illegal immigrants can support their families on what ONE person CLAIMS cannot support theirs?

    Sorry, the onslaught of ILLEGAL immigrants (in the U.S., mostly Mexicans) has ruined the U.S. economy. You see, it's a "trickle-UP" effect.

    There you go constantly regurgitating that "trickle-up poverty" line. Maybe if you weren't such a greedy bastid you wouldn't have these problems?

  • by codegen ( 103601 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:31PM (#31415168) Journal
    Actually most id laws only require you to identify yourself verbally, and only your name. They do not require you to present physical ID. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court (Hibel v Nevada). []
  • Passport? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BradMajors ( 995624 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:47PM (#31415444)

    What is wrong with using a Passport? Passports will contain the same biometric information as these ID cards.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shadowfaxcrx ( 1736978 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @12:53PM (#31415526)

    Why don't we flip what you just said. "How is this any different from the I-9 verification forms that you're required to complete when starting a new job?"

    Exactly. We already have verifications in place to ensure that an employer's workforce is legit. They're already being ignored by employers who want cheap labor. Why do we think a *different* verification process which still relies on the employer's honesty is going to work any better than the one we already have? It won't, because the meatpacker who's knowingly hiring illegals today is going to knowingly hire them tomorrow too.

    So either the sponsors of this legislation are stupid (a possibility which I cannot at all discount) or there is an ulterior motive to this legislation (again, something I can't discount).

    At best this is going to be a colossal waste of money and a bureaucratic nightmare of tangles, as the government will have to pay to distribute these cards, and will then have to spend inordinate amounts of time fixing the database errors that prevent people from getting work.

    At worst this is going to be used to punish people the government is angry with. And I don't mean (necessarily) some Orwellian conspiracy where you either vocally support the government or you don't get to work anymore. I just mean "Oh. You cheated on your taxes back in 1995. Your work papers are revoked."

    Whether or not you believe that the government would ever intentionally oppress its citizens, why should we allow the government to install the machinery that would facilitate it?

  • by Zantac69 ( 1331461 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:02PM (#31415652) Journal
    As someone who just finished dealing with the US govt getting a greencard for my wife (no, she was not a mail order bride, you twits - we met while I was living abroad), I am in full support of enforcing our immigration laws. Fuck illegal immigrants. My wife and I jumped through all the fucking hoops proving she was who she was...we were a legit marriage...she was not a terrorist...that I could "support her" if she could not work...all that shit. I get so frustrated when I see these illegal jackasses - and dont whine this shit about "noone is 'illegal'" - 'cause they are breaking the fucking law and need to be punished.

    I would love to see E-Verify be mandatory. $5-k fines per worker per day for NOT using it. I would like to see E-verify have a running database that flags SSN repeat hits cross-referenced against the full names and date of birth along with the geographic locations from the hit. I would also like to see a "feature" where you could lock your SSN down - i.e. you go to a federal facility and request that your SSN be locked to your current job, so some jackass jacks your SSN to clear E-Verify they say, "No - says you have your SSN on file here working at XYZ INC...not Javier's Drywall. Is this you, or do you need to get into the deportation catapult?" Would have to be easy to adjust this setting, but I think it would rock.

    While biometrics are awesome, I know some people are scared of big sister. I think the cross-reference deal would take care of it for the most part.
  • by Zantac69 ( 1331461 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:09PM (#31415778) Journal

    Some employers may stop hiring illlegals, others will take the risk and continue hiring them. The glut of unemployed illegals will drive their wages down and increase the margins realized the employer hiring them.

    This is what the government wants. An employer caught hiring illegals will be fined and have assets confiscated. It will be a profit center for government, prosecuting and deporting illegals is not.

    I am strangely confortable with this idea. The end result:
    1 - Employers are forced to use the verification system by threat of losing their buisness (the law should have teeth).
    2 - Illegals are effectively starved out of the country because Employers are following the rules as they should.

    What is the problem here?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:36PM (#31416184)
    Who gives a flying fuck about his interests? My interests tell me I'd like to save money on having my bathroom tiles set, therefore I go for the Mexicans. If he wasn't so damn lazy, he'd be out learning additional skills to supplement his skill set to stay competitive. But nah, it's easier to complain about those mean ol' Beaners.
  • by Rudeboy777 ( 214749 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:47PM (#31416350)

    I don't know why you picked on this poor fellow, but he's not railing against the free market. He's railing against the unfair price pressures of competing against criminals who don't have the same obligations (tax, insurance, supporting a family in the USA with a higher cost-of-living than Mexico) that those who play by the rules do.

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Omestes ( 471991 ) <> on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @01:49PM (#31416410) Homepage Journal

    Some problems with the idea of overthrowing the American government;

    1) The government has more force to throw at you than any dissenting group could hope to match. The government has pretty much a monopoly of force.

    2) Armed revolutions generally don't have possitive results. Name a single revolution after the French Revolution that saw generally positive results.

    3) It is the low road, and pretty much says that you completely given up on the American people, or on any chance of fixing the American discourse.

    4) It is the lazy way.

    5) People will get hurt. Innocent people will get hurt. Your personal political ideology generally never trumps the lives of others. And if you go into it with an "us vs. them" motive, your ideology is probably flawed and tyrannical.

    I personally dread the day when people take up guns against their elected government. First because the term "elected", by picking up guns your saying that you know better than the voters, which to me, is tyrannical. Its part of the stupid modern "tea party" line of bullshit, democracy is fine until people vote for people I don't like.

    Second, who would get control of the new government? Liberatarians, actual socialists, the anarchists, Christian fundamentalists? All of these sections are disenfranchised feeling currently. And some small subset of each of these groups would be willing to fight, and more problematically, enforce their ideology on others. Someone is going to mention "restoring the Constitution" or some such empty phrase, which leads to the question "whose interpretation of it?". No interpretation is an objective truth, all are equal, no matter how much you disagree with them. Its like arguing whose interpretation of the Bible is right, and we all can see how those arguments turn out.

    Third, who are you going to fight? If you managed to oust the president and all of congress, people will just vote them back. The Government is only a problem on the surface, but the real problem runs much deeper. The American people are the "problem", how do you fix that? I doubt an armed revolution will work.

    I'm scared of your use of "faithful", when it comes to the potential killing of people, you'd better have much more than faith.

  • Re:Wake up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by magus_melchior ( 262681 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:05PM (#31416580) Journal

    I am also oppose to illegals destroy our economy (and yes, they are costing America HUGE, along with the outsourcing).

    Just to play devil's advocate (a bit sincerely, at that), who is responsible for the growth of illegal immigration and outsourcing? The Mexicans/Central Americans, Chinese, and Indians? They just want a job that pays better than a couple of USD per day, and would be among the last people who want the US economy to collapse. Can we not level some responsibility at the US corporations who fanatically seek dirt-cheap labor costs and zero labor protections/environmental regulations? Can we not see some responsibility in American laborers who demand ever-increasing wages and benefits while turning down the plentiful manual labor that the illegal immigrants consider generous? And, if the labor is being utilized by these undocumented workers, exactly how are these taxpaying people costing America*? For that matter, where are you getting this idea that handing out more documentation will suddenly cause illegals to stop working illicitly, or that this would prevent boneheaded racist ideas from becoming policy?

    Boiling the discussion down to "illegals destroy our economy" makes for a catchy talking point (which is why GOP politicians use it liberally), but it is, in the end, a Big Lie designed to foster discrimination and create a class of scapegoats. If it worked for every immigrant struggle in the history of this fine nation, why not, right?

    An ID card is little more than security theater. You'll have the same things that happen today with SSNs and identity theft, where illegals buy paperwork from dishonest people to become (sarcasm quotes) "documented"-- the only difference will be the time it takes to crack whatever encryption is on the ID card (remember, a straight cipher like the one you suggest is very straightforward to crack with brute force), or, more likely, the time it takes to move the electronics to a fake ID.

    Let's not require such cards for citizens and permanent resident visas; don't even encourage employers to try to "document" their citizen/green-card workers this way, as the constitutional implications of this are serious. Let's not force those who seek temporary visas to get these IDs, as if we're Narita Airport's immigration gates fingerprinting every foreigner (remembering that by and large we Americans are descendants of immigrants). But if we want to somehow try to offer a way for undocumented workers to get legit documentation that's easy for employers to verify, offer this to them. Put them on "probation", if you would, and monitor their progress towards a legit visa.

    Maybe that's too progressive for some folks, so naturally Congress would probably strengthen CIS officials' power to kick undocumented workers out for any reason. There is never a straightforward answer to a problem like this, and every solution will hurt a huge number of people. Hanging onto this ID card idea as if it were a silver bullet strongly suggests that you want a quick and dirty fix without thinking about the consequences.

    * Yes, yes, you want to say "they're taking jobs away from hard-working patriotic freedom-loving Americans". I've got news for you-- those jobs were either priced out of their market by the employers, or the same hard-working Americans rejected the lower wages. You cannot pin the responsibility on the illegals alone for wage depression.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:09PM (#31416626)

    there are places in the usa where you can not pay rent or health care alone for what they pay undocumeneted workers.

    they do not want cheap labor, they want slaves.

    it should be ileagal because it is like prostitution

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by clarkkent09 ( 1104833 ) * on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:18PM (#31416726)
    He did neither of those things. He entered into a voluntary agreement with another individual on a rate of labor that was acceptable to both of them. It should be none of anybody else's business.
  • Re:Wake up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thatblackguy ( 1132805 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:25PM (#31416824)
    Your precious citizens, the corporate overlords, ship manufacturing to china and support calls to India and you blame the people who took a job for the loss of 'your jobs' ? Blame the manager who made the decision to give the job to someone else, not the person who chose to accept it. BTW. Do you believe in free trade? Do you know that it extends beyond goods and services? It applies for jobs too. Jobs subject to the free market and all that. I wonder why the usual free trade nuts simultaneously hate outsourcing. It's like they choose the part which only benefits them.
  • by querist ( 97166 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:29PM (#31416878) Homepage
    As Senator Graham is one of my senators, I have contacted his office regarding this matter.

    For those of you who contact your senators or representatives, please try to be civil. If you have appropriate qualifications in the field (advanced degrees, etc.), please politely offer your assistance to your senator's staff to help them understand the technical complexities of the proposal. That is exactly what I have done, and I have had significant success with this approach with Senator Jim DeMint. I am on his "call list" and I occasionally receive calls from his office when proposals like this come up and I am asked for my input on the matter. (I have not received a call on this one, so I will contact Senator DeMint's office once I've had a chance to read the bill. Often they do not recognize that there is a "computer security" component to a bill such as this - they just think "ID card" and do not think of the databases behind the cards.)

    If you are polite and you have appropriate qualifications that your senator or representative will recognize, you may have an opportunity to have a positive influence in the process. Remember, though, that your senators and representatives are people who have fears, egos, and agendas just like everyone else. Show them that you want to work WITH them.

    If you honestly cannot bring yourself to assist your senator or representative for whatever reason you have, then please at least be polite in your letters. An angry letter filled with vitriol and profanity will only alienate the recipient from your viewpoint.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:34PM (#31416950)

    My wife and I jumped through all the fucking hoops proving she was who she was...we were a legit marriage...she was not a terrorist...that I could "support her" if she could not work...all that shit.

    So, because you had to go through absolutely fucking ridiculous lengths to live a normal life with your wife you think everybody should have to go through the same sort of gauntlet? Its like you are a frat boy who got hazed and as result thinks that anyone else who didn't go through the torture he did is not worthy.

    Personally, I don't give a shit if someone is a 'citizen' or not - as long they pay their taxes there shouldn't be any other requirements. It's bad enough that so many employers accuse you of being a drug abuser just because you want to work for them, having to please one more massive beauracracy just for the privilege of earning a living is beyond the pale.

    And yes, I married a girl from another country too.

  • by winwar ( 114053 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @02:57PM (#31417266)

    "But that doesn't make sense - why is this guy entitled to more money just because of where he was born?"

    Perhaps you missed the part about ILLEGAL immigrants? His job is being threatened by people breaking the law. The citizens of a country are entitled to set the laws that run a country within reason.

    I'm sorry but it's not reasonable to disrupt society and good well paying stable jobs to cater to illegal immigrants and cheap consumers and employers (both of which are breaking the law by hiring illegals). The race to the bottom does not help a country dependent on the middle class. Because everyone can be replaced by someone willing to take less, even you.

    Of course, in my experience, people who share your attitude often have jobs with artificial barriers preventing their loss to low paid workers....

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sabre86 ( 730704 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @03:30PM (#31417706)
    Alternatively, we simply wipe out the human race. No more problems.

    Why should someone fear the consequences of coming to the US for work or just to live? Rumor has it that it's a country with "liberty and justice for all" and "the land of the free" and things like that.

    Of course, I figure you're trolling, as no serious person would suggest battering, defacing, enslaving and then murdering a person simply for crossing a line on a map.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @03:55PM (#31418072)

    Your response is one great big woooooosh!

    Frat and legal residence is hardly apples/apples

    Wooooosh #1: The point is not whether a frat is legal residence or not (what a totally random disassociation to pick) it is the fact that you had to suffer and now you want everyone else to suffer too - including native born citizens who have to put up with this verification system. And you seem to be the type to think that suffering is justified because "that's the law" rather than consider that the law is wrong.

    I think by 'citizen' you mean 'legal resident and legally eligible for employment'

    Wooooosh #2: Yeah, that's exactly what I meant, where "legal" is defined as paying their taxes, full stop. You clearly think that all the additional laws are undeserving of criticism.

    If you don't like that Company XYZ requires drug screens or background checks - then take your application elsewhere.

    Wooooosh #3: Again with "the rules are OK because they are the rules" and undeserving of criticism. I threw that drug-test bit out there as bait to see if you were of a fascist bent, you certainly seem to be. You might as well argue that requiring that all applicants pass an STD test. After all, its important to the safety and integrity of the workplace that no one need fear catching cooties from their fellow employees.

    Here's something you will be unable to rationally justify - companies like blockbuster requires their employees pass a drug test. In what way does smoking a joint at home on the weekends risk the integrity/safety of their workplace?

  • Re:Papers Please! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sabre86 ( 730704 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @05:52PM (#31419756)
    I appreciate the civil reply.

    It's considerably different. For one thing, merely crossing the border doesn't deny you of or remove any of your property or resources. There are definitely immigrants who steal and/or defraud the government, but those are crimes the justice system can handle. For another, concept of a domicile doesn't scale up to a state level because it's rooted in private ownership. Places accessible to the public are public and in a free country, that means anyone can travel there.

    Governments are neither private individuals, with living rooms to protect, nor corporations. They don't have owners or stockholders to whom they have an obligation to provide profit or gain to. Governments, specifically the US Government, are put in place to ensure the liberty and welfare of all they have jurisdiction over to the best of their ability.

    I've got to return your previous comments. Frankly, governments and nations are pains in the ass. They draw arbitrary lines, they tell people what to do and how to live for no good reason and they ban all kinds of behavior, to the extent that pretty much everyone in the United States has committed a vast array of criminal acts. As such, there's only one good reason to have a government -- they manage to limit the behavior of people with the attitude you espoused. Murderers and slavers who can't respect the human dignity of their fellow man. People who insist their property is worth more than the freedom or very life of another human being.

    Who the hell are you to demand the blood and liberty of another? What are you so scared of that you'd enslave and kill to keep some arbitrary group of people from standing inside some arbitrary circle?
  • by jwhitener ( 198343 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @06:47PM (#31420468)

    I googled, and found the fine to be up to 10,000 and 5 years in prison for employing, knowingly, illegal workers. 5 years in prison isn't insignificant. The problem is more likely that the employer didn't know (or claim to not know), and/or the illegal employee gave him counterfeit papers.

    As an employer, how can you be certain? If the person hands you a W2 from an old job, a valid looking ssn, what more should you do? And if the employer can't be certain without going to extreme lengths and background checks, should they really be thrown in jail for 5 years?

    I can understand the intent behind wanting a form of 100% accurate identification, so that employers can be sure their employees are legal... but I think that it is missing the point entirely. I would assume that a very large percent of the migrant work force is payed under the table, without any paper work at all. Where there is demand, supply will come.

    I'd much rather see some sort of temporary worker visa made available. Having grown up around agriculture for the first half of my life, I can tell you that there are very few US citizens that would want to work in the fields. I've done it (college summer job), and it is very hard minimum wage work.

    But the hard work isn't even the primary issue. The single biggest thing that people miss in this discussion is that agricultural work is entirely temporary. When the harvest is ready, thousands upon thousands of migratory workers flood into central Washington State. When the harvest is done, most of them move to another State with a different growing season, or head back home with their earnings.

    How could you run a business if you needed 500 workers for 3 months each year without migratory labor? The only temporary work that pays off if you want to be stationary, with a home, as a US citizen is something like Crab fishing in Alaska. Big money, short time. Minimum wage short time jobs do not pay off, and no US citizen with better options is going to travel around to get those temp harvest jobs.

    If we successfully removed all illegal labor tomorrow, where would the workers come from? Well I suppose you could point out that places like Detroit have 40% unemployment among inner city males, mostly black males (I think thats the right figure, might be lower, but you get the point). Why aren't all those unemployed people traveling across the country each growing season and taking the harvest jobs? Because when they return home to Detroit with their summer earnings, that money doesn't buy much in America. A Mexican worker returning home on the other hand...

    It boils down to 2 choices:
    1. Temporary worker visas, and being able to tax those workers to pay for the social services they might use during their temporary stay, or
    2. Build a big wall, aggressively enforce laws, greatly increase business inspection, attempt to remove all illegal workers in other words. The result would be that farmers would need to pay more to entice people to take the job, and our food costs would go up.

    Either plan is basically sound in terms of the cause/effect. Except that like the war on drugs shows, where there is demand, supply finds a way of creeping in. Number 2 would be a losing battle imo.

  • by Money for Nothin' ( 754763 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @09:00PM (#31421716)

    I never in my life thought I would say anything like the following, but.... You are exactly the sort of immigrant who makes the case for never allowing immigrants to vote (immigrants who become citizens, and hence, eligible to vote in federal elections, not just qualifying local and state elections). People like you come here and destroy the native culture.

    Personally, I favor very low barriers to immigration -- verifications that the immigrant is not a violent criminal, but beyond that... Come on in. You shouldn't have to have jumped through hoops.

    You are aware that ID cards have, historically, been used to murder people, right? In Iraq, until Saddam Hussein was killed by the U.S., ID cards were used to track those who dissented with him and torture them - including at Abu Gharaib. In former East Germany, the Stasi secret police used them to do essentially the same thing.

    Conceptually, ID cards serve no purpose except to give individuals a way to lose: a way to lose their privilege to drive, or to earn a living, should they misplace the card; a way to lose their civil freedoms when they cannot prove to Officer Not-So-Friendly that they are who they say they are; a way, even, to lose their physical life when said officer decides they are not a "true American", and hence, are not privileged to the same rights as citizens.

    The U.S. was not founded by people who trusted their government, or anybody else's. People like you who come here and trust ours -- which is no more trustworthy than any other in history -- at the very least ought never to be allowed to vote in any significant election here.

    There are plenty of other nations you can live in where the level of trust in government is more to your liking; some of them are even nice places to live (arguably nicer than much of the U.S.).

  • Re:Wake up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Tuesday March 09, 2010 @09:38PM (#31421962) Journal

    We have a second class sub-society of illegals in America who are willing to work for peanuts because they can't risk getting on the grid.

    You don't seem to have talked to very many illegals. That is not why they are willing to work for peanuts. They are willing to work for peanuts because it's still a lot more than they would make in their own country. Secondly there are so many illegals with fake ID working in legitimate places as regular citizens that "not risking getting on the grid" isn't really an issue.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin