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Your papers, please

Posted By Joseph Farah On 07/03/1998 @ 1:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

The day is coming soon when Americans will be required to carry a
nationally approved identification card to get work and satisfy other
basic needs of survival.

No, I know you haven’t seen much on this threat to privacy on the
network television news or read about it in the establishment press.
Don’t let that fact lull you into a false sense of complacency that what
I am about to tell you is black-helicopter stuff.

In 1996, Congress passed the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
Responsibility Act. Nearly everyone rejoiced because they assumed the
legislation cracked down, as the name implied, on illegal aliens. Few,
including members of Congress, actually bothered to read the bill.

One section of that law requires all states to make their driver’s
licenses comply with strict guidelines of the act. As of Oct. 1, 2000 –
a month before the next presidential election — the federal government
mandates that Social Security numbers be included as the license number.
Eventually, the act also requires the cards to include digitized
biometric information such as fingerprints, retina scans and DNA prints.

The Department of Transportation has already developed elaborate
guidelines for the new licenses. Suffice it to say that without them,
otherwise law-abiding citizens of the United States will find it next to
impossible to buy a gun, get a job, board a plane, vote, cash a check,
open a bank account, purchase insurance, receive federal benefits,
obtain a loan or receive medical service.

And that’s just what we can see from here. Remember, when the Social
Security card was instituted, and for many years thereafter, use of the
number for identification purposes was strictly forbidden. My card still
insists it is.

Don’t count on the 10th Amendment guarantees to save you from this
fate, either. Executive Order 13083, issued by Clinton last month,
effectively neutered any notions about federalism and states’ rights
without objection from the cowardly Congress. As I mentioned in a
previous column,

the executive order pretty much allows the federal government to do what
it wants, when it wants, for any reason it wants.

There’s only one hope of stopping this march to a belated 1984
nightmare world — and, if past results are any indication of future
performance, it isn’t much of a hope. Congress still has the power to
strike this monster down — if members can muster the courage, foresight
and boldness. That’s a big “if.” But it’s worth a try.

The Free Congress Foundation, one of the few activist organizations
fighting both the national ID card and Clinton’s executive order, is
urging people to write and call their representatives and senators.

For what it’s worth, you can also make your voice heard at the
Department of Transportation, which is getting ready to dot the “I’s”
and cross the “T’s” on its plan for the national ID card. All comments
must be in writing, are limited to 15 pages and must be received no
later than Aug. 3. Two copies of your comments should be sent to Docket
No. NHTSA-98-3945, Docket Management Room PL-401, National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration, Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590. Be sure to place the docket number on each
page of your comments. These bureaucrats will look for any reason to
place your missive in the circular file. And, no, they don’t accept
e-mails.

I don’t know about you, but I, for one, do not want my kids growing
up in a land where they are required to carry national identity papers.
That’s not what America is about. Wake up your political
representatives. Explain to them that, while they are preoccupied with
side issues like tobacco taxes, somebody is stealing our country, our
heritage of freedom, our legacy of individual rights.

More to the point: Tell them to take their national identity card and
stick it where the sun don’t shine.


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