Warning Congress Against Creating a De Facto National ID

9/14/2011

The Rutherford Institute Voices Concerns About E-Verify Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC — On the eve of the House Judiciary Committee preparing to mark up H.R. 2885 (formerly H.R. 2164), the “Legal Workforce Act,” The Rutherford Institute is reiterating its concerns that the legislation—which would require that all employers in the U.S. use the E-Verify system, a government-run and error-prone database and employment identification verification system—poses threats to privacy, free speech and free association and could quickly evolve into a de facto national ID system that hinders Americans’ ability to travel freely. The Institute first raised concerns about the Legal Workforce Act in June 2011, when it joined forces with groups such as the ACLU, American Library Association and Electronic Frontier Foundation, among others, to voice its opposition to H.R. 2164 and any expansion of the E-Verify system.

A copy of The Rutherford Institute’s letter to Congress is available here.

“As technology grows more sophisticated and the government and its corporate allies further refine their methods of keeping tabs on the American people, those of us who treasure privacy increasingly find ourselves engaged in a struggle to maintain our freedoms in the midst of the modern surveillance state,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute. “Not only is this a back-door attempt to inflict a de facto national ID card on the American people, but it would essentially make the federal government the final authority on who gets hired by American businesses.”

If passed by Congress, the Legal Workforce Act (H.R. 2885), which was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) as a way to supposedly fight illegal immigration and “open up millions of jobs for unemployed Americans and legal immigrants,” would in fact surreptitiously move America closer to a national ID

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