Like the Police State?


by
Ron Paul

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From massive
NSA spying, to IRS targeting of the administration’s political opponents,
to collection and sharing of our health care information as part
of Obamacare, it seems every day we learn of another assault on
our privacy. Sadly, this week the Senate took another significant,
if little-noticed, step toward creating an authoritarian surveillance
state. Buried in the immigration bill is a national identification
system called mandatory E-Verify.

The Senate
did not spend much time discussing E-Verify, and what little discussion
took place was mostly bipartisan praise for its effectiveness as
a tool for preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining employment.
It is a tragedy that mandatory E-Verify is not receiving more attention,
as it will impact nearly every American’s privacy and liberty.

The mandatory
E-Verify system requires Americans to carry a “tamper-proof”
social security card. Before they can legally begin a job, American
citizens will have to show the card to their prospective employer,
who will then have to verify their identity and eligibility to hold
a job in the US by running the information through the newly-created
federal E-Verify database. The database will contain photographs
taken from passport files and state driver’s licenses. The law gives
federal bureaucrats broad discretion in adding other “biometric”
identifiers to the database. It also gives the bureaucracy broad
authority to determine what features the “tamper proof”
card should contain.

Regardless
of one’s views on immigration, the idea that we should have
to ask permission from the federal government before taking a job
ought to be offensive to all Americans. Under this system, many
Americans will be denied the opportunity for work. The E-Verify
database will falsely identify thousands as “ineligible,”
forcing many to lose job opportunities while challenging government
computer inaccuracies. E-Verify will also impose additional compliance
costs on American businesses, at a time when they are struggling
with Obamacare implementation and other regulations.

According to
David Bier of Competitive Enterprise Institute, there is nothing
stopping the use of E-Verify for purposes unrelated to work verification,
and these expanded uses could be authorized by agency rule-making
or executive order. So it is not inconceivable that, should this
bill pass, the day may come when you are not be able to board an
airplane or exercise your second amendment rights without being
run through the E-Verify database. It is not outside the realm of
possibility that the personal health care information that will
soon be collected by the IRS and shared with other federal agencies
as part of Obamacare will also be linked to the E-Verify system.

Those
who dismiss these concerns as paranoid should consider that the
same charges were leveled at those who warned that the PATRIOT Act
could lead to the government collecting our phone records and spying
on our Internet usage. Just as the PATRIOT Act was only supposed
to be used against terrorists but is now used to bypass constitutional
protections in matters having noting to do with terrorism or national
security, the national ID/mandatory E-Verify database will not only
be used to prevent illegal immigrants from gaining employment. Instead,
it will eventually be used as another tool to monitor and control
the American people.

The recent
revelations of the extent of National Security Agency (NSA) spying
on Americans, plus recent stories of IRS targeting Tea Party and
similar groups for special scrutiny, demonstrates the dangers of
trusting government with this type of power. Creation of a federal
database with photos and possibly other “biometric” information
about American citizens is a great leap forward for the surveillance
state. All Americans who still care about limited government and
individual liberty should strongly oppose E-Verify.

See
the Ron Paul File

July
1, 2013

Dr. Ron
Paul was a Republican member of Congress from Texas.

Copyright ©
2013 Ron Paul Institute for
Peace and Prosperity

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Republished with permission from:: Lew Rockwell