Reid-Schumer-Menendez immigration plan: biometric IDs and amnesty with border enforcement as bait
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Sens. Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, and Bob Menendez have released the outlines of their own comprehensive immigration reform plan; a PDF is available here. The first, tough-talking part deals with increased border security; see this for some of the ways it's misleading. After having increased border security, an amnesty will be enacted.
Ironically, this two-step process is the position that John McCain took near the end of his presidential run, for which he was called various names by Democratic Party "concern trolls".
Their proposal includes what amounts to a national ID:
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this proposal, the Social Security Administration will begin issuing biometric social security cards. These cards will be fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear resistant, and machine-readable social security cards containing a photograph and an electronically coded micro-processing chip which possesses a unique biometric identifier for the authorized card-bearer. The card will also possess the following characteristics: (1) biometric identifiers, in the form of templates, that definitively tie the individual user to the identity credential; (2) electronic authentication capability; (3) ability to verify the individual locally without requiring every employer to access a biometric database; (4) offline verification capability (eliminating the need for 24-hour, 7-days-per-week online databases); (5) security features that protect the information stored on the card; (6) privacy protections that allow the user to control who is able to access the data on the card; (7) compliance with authentication and biometric standards recognized by domestic and international standards organizations... ...No personal information will be stored on the electronic chip contained within the social security card other than the individual’s name, date of birth, social security number, and unique biometric identifier... Under no circumstances will any other information, including medical information or position-tracking information, be contained within the card.
How exactly they're going to create a secure, self-verifying (the "locally" above) ID card isn't clear, probably because that isn't possible: the data on the card would need to be verified against a central database otherwise it would be possible to create fake cards that would pass the test. Recall, for instance, how quickly many hobbyists are able to reverse-engineer video game consoles, phones, and the like.
This will require a whole Rube Goldbergian process to issue dozens of millions new Social Security cards and then make sure there aren't problems:
Prior to issuing an individual a new fraud-proof social security card, the Social Security Administration will be required to verify the individual’s identity and employment eligibility by asking for production of acceptable documents to be provided by the individual as proof of identity and employment eligibility... An administrative adjudication process can be invoked in the event that an individual is unable to establish his or her identity or lawful immigration status. Adverse decisions can be reviewed in the federal courts.
They also propose increasing skilled immigration, in effect braindraining the world.
Then, they say they'll "reform America’s lower-skilled worker programs to ensure that businesses only obtain foreign workers when American workers are unavailable", which is followed by a description of their guest workers programs. Anyone who thinks that employers wouldn't work night and day to circumvent any provisions designed to protect American workers hasn't been paying attention to this issue.
Then, as in the case of the "Civil Rights Act of 2008", they admit that massive illegal immigration causes problems for American workers:
An emergency shall consist of a situation in which America’s employment-based immigration system is either substantially failing to admit a sufficient number of workers for the needs of the American economy or is substantially admitting too many foreign workers, leading to significant job displacement and/or wage depression in the American workforce.
We have the second now; instead of doing anything about it now, all the three senators are doing is proposing an amnesty that would add millions of legal workers to the labor pool.
Their Rube Goldbergian amnesty is divided into two parts:
In Phase 1, eligible applicants, including individuals on Temporary Protected Status and other statuses designated by the Secretary, will be registered, fingerprinted, screened, and considered for an interim “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” (LPI) status that allows them to work and to travel outside of the United States. In Phase 2, which will take place in eight years after current visa backlogs have cleared (often referred to as the “back of the line” provision), LPIs who have fulfilled all additional statutory requirements will be permitted to petition for adjustment to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status... ...Speedy checks of biographic and biometric information against law enforcement databases will help ensure that only those applicants who qualify are granted authorization to remain. Providing eligible applicants with a secure, tamper-resistant credential will enhance border security and interior enforcement by allowing law enforcement to more readily identify and remove convicted criminals; national security and public safety risks; individuals who do not comply with the requirement to register; and other ineligible applicants... ...Specifically, to be eligible for initial registration for the legalization program and interim status as an LPI, each individual must: (1) complete an application supplying basic biographic and biometric information; (2) pass terrorism, criminal history, and other security checks; (3) pay all applicable fees, civil penalties, and taxes; and (4) have been continuously present in the United States since the date of enactment...
Phase one would require a large amount of work and would increase wait times for those already in the immigration line. And, the "eight years" they discuss would mean that we'd basically be cutting off legal immigration for some time period - perhaps several years - in order to accommodate those who came here illegally. And, needless to say, in that eight year period even those who we might want not to allow to become LPRs will have entrenched themselves here such as by having U.S. citizen children.
Despite their proposal being so incredibly obvious about being a vote-buying scheme for the leaders of the Democratic Party and one that will greatly harm American citizens, expect some Republican usual suspects to support their proposal.