As part of his pledge to "end illegal immigration", Rudy Giuliani wants to require all foreigners in the U.S. to carry a biometric ID card. As discussed at the link, that would either be ineffective or it would eventually result in a national ID card for all.
Back in 1986, one of Giuliani's current advisors - Annelise Anderson of the Hoover Institution - published "Illegal Aliens and Employer Sanctions: Solving the Wrong Problem" (andrsn.stanford.edu/Other/illegal.html) discussed the massive downsides of national ID cards. It appears that those under Simpson-Mazzoli - unlike Giuliani's plan - were to be for everyone, so her paper isn't completely applicable to the current proposal. It would, however, eventually become applicable:
Supporters of the legislation point to provisions limiting the use of any employee identification to employment eligibility. But one Congress cannot bind another Congress. It is easy to imagine a future Congress, seeking to deal with terrorism, gun control, civil disturbance, tax evasion, draft evasion, failure to pay child support, voter fraud, welfare fraud, spies, communicable diseases, multiple drug prescriptions, or whatever, extending the power to use the national identification system to deal with the crisis of the moment... A centralized national identity system is an extraordinarily powerful tool to give to a government. No totalitarian government operates without one. It requires a naivete based on a total absence of historical perspective to believe that we can allow the government to establish such a system and at the same time prevent its eventual use for purposes that we would today consider totally unacceptable. The problem of illegal immigration does not warrant such a risk...
Thu, 10/11/2007 - 08:38 · Importance: 4