Congressional Democrats exploit public outrage to enact a proposal ‘with which people are more comfortable’.

30 Apr 2010 | InfoShop News

Democrats on Capitol Hill are responding to public outrage over Arizona’s racist immigration bill with a draft [.pdf] of the ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ bill that includes “a troubling provision which would create a biometric national ID card” and mandatory fingerprinting for every worker in the U.S., the American Civil Liberties Union said in a statement today..

“If the biometric national ID card provision of the draft bill becomes law, every worker in America would have to be fingerprinted and a new federal bureaucracy—one that could cost hundreds of billions of dollars—would have to be created to issue cards,” the civil liberties advocacy group said in strong opposition.

“Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives. Every worker in America will need a government permission slip in order to work. And all of this will come with a new federal bureaucracy—one that combines the worst elements of the D.M.V. and the T.S.A.,” said Christopher Calabrese of the A.C.L.U. Legislative Counsel.

Daniel Tencer reports at The Raw Story today that “Believe System” mandates an “ID card for everyone in the work force”, adding:

“Believe” is an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally-stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment. The Social Security Administration would be responsible for running the ID card system.

“Essentially, if you want to participate in the American economy, you need this card.” Ezra Klein notes at his Washington Post blog:

Pages 8 through 18 are devoted to “ending illegal employment through biometric employment verification.”

“Within five (5) years of the date of enactment, the fraud-proof social security card will serve as the sole acceptable document to be produced by an employee to an employer for employment verification purposes,” the bill says. “This requirement will exist even if the employer does not yet possess the capability to electronically verify the employee by scanning the card through a card reader.”

The theory here is simple: Illegal immigration is a problem because illegal immigrants can get jobs. As the bill says, “in order to prevent future waves of illegal immigration, this proposal recognizes that no matter what we do on the border, our ports of entry, and in the interior, we will not be completely effective unless we can prevent the hiring, recruitment, or referral of unauthorized aliens in America’s workplaces. Jobs are what draw illegal immigrants to the United States.”

The bill, the A.C.L.U. adds, also calls for the perpetuity of the Draconian 287(g) program—which the Obama Administration expanded in late July—to grant local enforcement with the powers of federal immigration agents to employ racial profiling, arbitrary confiscation of property and indefinite kidnapping.

Despite accounts of exceedingly inhumane conditions experienced by immigrants kidnapped by the government, the draft of the new bill “describes some immigration detention reforms including a troubling provision that would grant ‘heightened’ detention authority to the government in certain circumstances”, according to the A.C.L.U. statement.

This is an extension of the Department of Homeland Security calling the Varick Street Detention Center in New York City a “good model“. At Varick, immigrant are regularly detained indefinitely without charges like roaches, or in solitary confinement, and committed to slave labor without legal representation, Nina Bernstein reported at The New York Times last November.

“It is the routine violations that have been most shocking to the small bands of suburban volunteers who visit immigration detainees in New Jersey jails,” she reported this week on a coalition report released by the American Friends Service Committee, the New York University Immigrant Rights Clinic and New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees, a coalition of religious and advocacy groups. The report:

points to harsh conditions and arbitrary visiting restrictions imposed by a half-dozen New Jersey jails where Immigration and Customs Enforcement holds thousands of noncitizens each year while it tries to deport them….

The report also describes how volunteer visitors have been trying to fill the gap in accountability: advocating for a seriously ill detainee denied his heart medication for weeks, foiling what it called the cover-up of one guard’s abuse and persuading jailers to supply the pillows required under detention standards….

Among the most distressing situations, [Ruben Loyo, a student enlisted by the N.Y.U. council] said, was that of Angela Joseph, a New Yorker who for three years had devoted hours each week to get 15-minute visits with her brother Warren Joseph at the Hudson County jail, where there are no weekend visits and weekday visits end at 6:15 p.m.

Even a brief outside presence is meaningful to those locked away far from relatives; 84 percent of them have no lawyer, and none have any way to know when they will be freed, [Karin Wilkinson, the leader of Middlesex First Friends] said.

Kidnapping immigrants is big business, as Venita Gupta of the A.C.L.U. pointed out earlier this week at Russia Today (9:23):

Anis Shivani at The Huffington Post observes this proposal has “everything a power-mad D.H.S. bureaucrat could desire”—one where people “are presumed criminals and terrorists before they’re given a chance to be half-treated as humans”.

“That’s the whole thrust of the bill. Immigrants are presumed criminals or terrorists. The burden of proof is on them,” he adds.

What’s scarier is that uproar against Arizona’s ‘Papers Please Bill’ was directed to the rhetoric which requires state and local police to demand proof of citizenship papers from anyone the officer has “reasonable suspicion” to believe is undocumented. The objection is two-fold: (1) the obvious encouragement of racial profiling; and (2) that immigration is a federal issue, not that of state and local governments.

Given that 287(g) has existed with minimal objection and is re-confirmed in the draft of this bill, Congressional Democrats only object to enforcement powers added to state and local authorities. Their solution: add power to the federal force, regulatory regime and database every worker in America.

I’ve been highly suspicious of a bill with such nefarious rhetoric passing through the Arizona legislature and getting signed by the Arizona governor, following an uncanny massive international uproar. Without putting the tin-foil hat on, I call ‘false-flag’ on the Arizona legislature.

I won’t go so far as to say that the federal government covertly pushed the bill through the Arizona legislature, but it’s convenient for the agenda of the immigration hawks in Arizona.

Seriously believing a blatantly unconstitutional bill would present a significant threat to civil liberties is absurd. Judge Andrew Napolitano at FOX News accurately pointed out that no insurance company would cover the excess of lawsuits against Arizona’s enforcement of the bill (0:56):

“Governments itch to tag their subjects like so many cattle, on any pretext whatsoever,” Becky Avers, who’s done extensive research in relentlessly following the possibilty of a national ID card, wrote at The Freeman earlier this month, predicting immigration hysteria would pave the way. “Ours thought it had a dandy excuse in the attacks of 9/11, and who can blame it? Many Americans would eagerly sell their few remaining liberties so long as a politician assured them that said sale secured the homeland. Ergo, the Feds invented a bogus link between terrorism and America’s freedom from a national ID. They swore they’d prevent another 9/11 so long as we followed orders to carry ‘enhanced’ driver’s licenses.”

Democrats have a image of being soft on immigration, through there’s no action to suggest it, but 2010 being an election year requires to counter this image. Proposing a national ID card, continuation of 287(g), strengthening the D.H.S. and federal detention privileges counters the narrative of them being dovish on immigration. Federalizing the Arizona bill takes the power away from state and local authorities to appeal to the progressive [sic] objection to the Arizona bill—that immigration is a federal issue. Democrats and Republican plumbliners, soi disant progressives and conservatives will both agree the federal ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform’ bill is less-terrible than the Arizona bill and the politicians will gain political capital.

This is Manufacturing Consent 101. The Hegelian Dialectic of problem-reaction-solution in practice: to push the agenda of the national ID card, the government had to counter massive public opposition to the Big Brother program. Take a problem like Arizona, stir up a widespread negative reaction and push your initial nefarious will as the solution when people are thinking emotionally, still in their reactive shove of the problem. The reactionism has cause the public to briefly forget the immorality of all immigration law, the torturous human trafficking industry it creates and the earlier-mentioned Draconian conditions of immigrant jails. The focus of the public is just that the federal government do something—anything!—to counter the problem and all are pacified as the expense of all.

The Arizona bill created an atmosphere of begging the federal government to use its power and it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see how its exploiting genuine public fear and moral indignation in choosing to use that power.

  1. […] have to. I wrote about the biometric national ID card mandate that links to a fingerprint database here. The plan is to plug everyone into the matrix within six […]

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