Chet Edwards (US House District 17), the Border Fence, and Employee Verification Databanks Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Chet Edwards (US House District 17), the Border Fence, and Employee Verification Databanks

24 November 2006 at 8:10:22 AM

Waco Trib has an article about immigration after the Democrats take control; the article is full of debatable references, including comments about *centrist* Democrats. I want to see what a *centrist* Democrat is defined as being-let's please get a list of what *centrists* believe in, with stances and platforms, because Edwards actually panders to holds right-wing Republican views. Voting the Republican stance doesn't make you a centrist Democrat, it makes you a Republican with a Democrat label on your shirt (except when you won't say, on your website or campaign literature that you're a Democrat, but an *Independent*.) Until a definition of *centrist* exists, with positions, the term should be ignored as it holds no value as a measure.

The article references a poll on Edwards website which has the following choices: Education, Transportation, Homeland Security, Healthcare, Immigration, Jobs and the Economy. The poll itself certainly isn't scientific, isn't limited to only people in his district since anyone in the internet world can vote on it, and looks like a person could vote repeatedly for an option. That's not to mention, of course, that the options for what Edwards should be working on are defined... by him.. not by us. Where's "Get Out of Iraq?", for instance? So, if there is (currently) 21 % that say Immigration is the issue, what does that mean? Nothing, because the poll has no validity.

A PR spokesman for Center for Immigration Studies, John Keeley, is quoted in the article, with subtle digs at Democrats, concerning the border fence.

“With Democrats, when it comes to immigration (they tend to) focus their energy on liberalization of the system, doubling the number of legal immigrants, creating a guest worker program,” he said. “That supersedes their interest in getting tough and getting in control.”

Gee. Talk about slanted language! Who is it that wants guest workers? Isn't that, uh, BUSH (who, last I looked, wasn't a Democrat!!? I guess he's just not *tough*, *in control" and is too liberal.

Edwards DOES want the boondoggle border fence (he voted with the Republicans for it), which even John Cornyn said, since it isn't funded, is symbolic. But Edwards wants it only as long as it's not too expensive. Since we found out last week that the fence might cost up to 30 BILLION dollars, that would seem to put a crimp in building it.

He'd rather put the money into building a massive federal employee tracking database, using Real ID as the foundation. (Edwards voted for the Real ID Act before, unlike most Democrats.)

“If we had a federal data bank for employee verification then we could, for a change, start enforcing (immigration law) and that would reduce a lot of the incentive for coming to this country,” Edwards said.

The article doesn't include any sources or references from those who don't want to have "National ID Cards" that can track all your moves, nor want a federal government database that would track, not just those here illegally, but every single person in the United States, including employment. Federal government needs to but out of that situation. I certainly think that the Social Security administration can be better at what it does, but even a SS number is NOT supposed to be used for identification! Here's an article from CPSR, which opposes the federal tracking database.

The undersigned organizations and individuals urge you to oppose Section 301 of both Chairman Specter’s Immigration Mark and S. 2454, the Securing America’s Border Act, introduced by Senator Frist. This legislation mandates the use of the Basic Pilot employment verification database by all United States employers to verify the work-eligibility of all current employees and all future hires. The Chairman’s Mark, S. 2454, and other similar proposals to expand the Basic Pilot program present a grave threat to the privacy of all Americans. This expansion will lay the groundwork for a national ID system, increase the threat of identity theft and identity fraud, and it will encounter significant technical problems that will cost many Americans their jobs.

Expanding the Basic Pilot program lays the groundwork for a national ID system. This government database will contain extensive information about every American and work-authorized non-citizen in the country. Allowing the government to maintain these kind of files on all Americans and requiring each person to obtain an employment eligibility card is but a short step from implementing a national identification system. Congress has consistently renounced efforts to institute a national ID in the past because of its incompatibility with the core principles of a free society. Do not allow this legislation to slip it in through the back door.

Expanding the employment verification system will not stop unscrupulous individuals from obtaining employment. Instead, it will lead to an increase in identity theft and identity fraud. Any person who wants to sidestep the system can easily steal the identity of a work-authorized individual or purchase fraudulent documents. This will create a whole new market for stolen identities and put Americans at an increased risk. Additionally, the employment verification database itself would be at risk of being hacked, which would expose huge segments of the population to the theft of their identities and the exposure of other private information contained in the database.

The Basic Pilot program is currently used by 3,600 employers. Expanding it to all 8.4 million U.S. employers will pose serious technical obstacles. The system will need to verify the work eligibility of all 146 million people currently employed in the United States, plus 54 million new hires each year. We have already seen, in its current limited usage, the widespread inaccuracies in the data used by Basic Pilot. One in every ten employees must be manually verified by Department of Homeland Security staff after the automatic system fails to match the individual to the necessary data. This rate of failure, multiplied to all employers and all employees in the U.S., will have real consequences for hundreds of thousands of Americans. People could lose their jobs and others will be needlessly denied employment every year.

The Government Accountability Office estimates that this employment verification system will cost $11.7 billion annually. In exchange for this huge investment, the American people will get a system that limits their freedom, exposes them to heightened risk of identity theft, and could unfairly deny them the right to earn a living and support their families. Additionally, it will not prevent determined individuals from circumventing the system and continuing to work illegally. For these reasons, we urge you to oppose Section 301 of both Chairman Specter’s Immigration Mark and S. 2454, and similar Senate proposals to expand the flawed Basic Pilot program.

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