Bill Clinton outsmarted and outmaneuvered the radical right wing
of the Republican Party for so long and so often giving Republicans
hope that once out of office he would stop been such a bully. But it
is not to be. He has done it again. In 1995 Clinton laid the
foundation for a National ID card. Well, he sneaked it in the Illegal
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 with the
help of Sen. Diane Feinstein.
As Cyndee Parkerwrote in an article on the subject: In
September of 1996, President Clinton signed into law, the Illegal
Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.
Buried at approximately page 650 of the new national Defense Bill,
also known as Public Law 104-208, Part B, Title IV, the American
public was given a national ID card. With no fanfare, no publicity and
no scrutiny, the bill easily avoided the watchful eyes of even its
most aggressive opponents.
Ms. Parker reported that a Georgia grassroots movement trying to
repeal the states Fingerprinting Law discovered the national ID tie.
She reported that the group found the national law not only mandates
a national ID card, but found how it is to be used. Its found in
Section 401-403, pilot programs initiated by the US Attorney General.
One such program is the Machine Readable Document Pilot Program,
which provided that employers would have to procure a document
reader linked to the federal governments Social Security
Administration. The potential employee swipes their new (now mandated
by the Real ID legislation introduced and passed at the behest of
Republicans), the government would then approve or disapprove the
hiring of the individual.
It is not difficult to understand why it is that so many have for
so long opposed a national ID card particularly one that would give
some agency the power to determine who can or cannot be hired. Granted
that a call for national ID has been long pursued as the one means to
deter the hiring of illegal immigrants, but at what price? And with
what security for non abuse against US citizens or legal residents?
The weakness is at the information receiving end. Suppose the
personnel on watch decide that no Jews should work, or Hispanic or
Asian names or names ending with an i (Many Polish names). It cant
happen? Think again.
Do you know that at each border port-of-entry or
immigration/customs clearance at airports or sea ports, government
personnel have the power to either let a persons enter the country or
not? There are hundreds of cases wherein using personal criteria
peoples visas have been taken away from them and made to return to
their country without a hearing or even an explanation. Even people
entering the US not to stay or even leave an airport, simply there to
catch a connecting flight bound for another country. Some immigration
officer makes a decision that the person looks like, or the name
sounds like or whatever personal dislike and thats all it takes.
So if one is under the impression that such people dont exist
when it comes to doing the same to US citizens or legal residents
they are going to be in for a very unpleasant surprise. There is
always someone ready to abuse a system, its part of the human
character. This is why in a democracy such as our, attempts at having
any part of the government have too much information on any citizen
has been taboo.
And it is precisely because of this that those in government
wanting the government to have more control no matter how well
intentioned their reasoning might be, usually hide such legislation
deep in other pending bills designated must pass legislation such as
the defense budget.
The 1996 legislation opening the door to national ID was no
exception then it was California Senator Diane Feinstein who hid the
legislation in the defense budget appropriations bill.
In 2005, it was Wisconsin Republican Congressman Sensenbrenner who
hid the Real ID legislation mandating national ID cards, though he
doesnt seem to know thats precisely what he has done in light of the
1996 approved law, in the Iraq and Afghanistan war effort budget.
The scary part is that hiding such items does not provide an
opportunity for close scrutiny and debate, and that our elected
representatives are such suckers to their own emotional biases and
self righteousness believing themselves to be right even in the face
of how wrong they are.
Osio, Jr. has written a short but intensive manual on the Mexican
perspective on numerous issues between our two countries. The manual is an
in depth primer on the culture and protocol for better understanding
Mexicans that in turn allows establishing personal and business
relationships, and how to avoid the most common faux pas that can ruin
relationships and business deals.
The manual is available through Electronic delivery for $9.95
making it possible to download the manual to save on your hard
drive, printing its entirety or particular sections while
reaping considerable savings over printed copies.