“Your Papers, Please”
Vol: 41 Issue: 21 Monday, February 21, 2005
There is no question that something needs to be done to tighten US border control and reform immigration policy. Sloppy immigration policy has been repeatedly cited as a principle cause of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Most of the hijackers were in the country illegally. Some had remained after their visas had expired; others had no visas at all.
Adding insult to injury, six months after they killed themselves and three thousand innocent Americans, two of the 9/11 hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, were granted new student visa approval forms.
The forms were sent to Huffman Aviation, the Florida flight training school that trained them to fly, but not to land, commercial aircraft. That’s at least one reason why so many immigration reform groups were largely in favor of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (HR 418).
Those in favor of immigration reform like the REAL ID Act of 2005 because, among other things, it would curb the issue of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens.
States would be required to verify that applicants are US citizens before they could issue the license. To get a driver’s license, one will need to provide, among other identifiers, a Social Security card.
Some note that the lead terrorist in the 9/11 attacks, Mohammad Atta, was in the country on a six-month visa, but was able to get a Florida driver’s license good for six years.
And since driver’s licenses are typically all that’s needed for such things as buying guns or getting on an airplane, such loopholes could prove to be a very bad thing indeed.
That’s probably a significant reason the measure passed handily in the House on February 10 by a vote of 261-161.
Of course, the liberal left opposes the REAL ID Act because they claim it is ‘discriminatory’ — making the impossible argument that requiring obedience to the law somehow discriminates against lawbreakers — but mostly, they oppose it because the administration supports it.
Both of those reasons demonstrate both the lack of adult supervision and the blind partisanship of the Left, which tends to explain how the REAL ID bill made it through both Houses, despite the fact it actually IS a bad bill that shouldn’t have made it out of Congress.
The Left has practiced knee-jerk politics for so long that the mere fact they oppose anything becomes a practical reason to vote FOR it. That would appear to be what happened with HR 418.
The bill should have failed simply on its merits, rather than allowing the Left to guarantee its passage by offering such lame and transparent opposition.
This bill is another object lesson in the application of the Biblical principle that, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25)
I’ve noted in the past that in instances where God decides a principle is important enough to say more than once, it is a good idea to pay attention. This is one of those times.
The REAL ID bill is an end-run around American opposition to a National ID Card, something that the Clintons tried and failed to accomplish in the 1990’s.
Remember when your Social Security Card used to say, ‘Not to be used for identification purposes?
It is still NOT supposed to be used as a form of identification, which is why anybody can refuse to provide it on a federal form.
(Says so right in the fine print — right before it says that failure to provide them with it means the Feds will throw away the form without reading it)
Try and open a bank account, or get a driver’s license or a credit card without one. See how THAT works out.
And the one sure way to guarantee identity theft is to disclose your social security number to the ‘wrong’ person. Armed with that bit of information, a person’s life and credit history becomes an open book.
It is the most sensitive item of personal identification in America today — although its use as a form of identification is still ostensibly prohibited by law.
The REAL ID Act is like that. Under the law, the REAL ID Act proposes to make state driver’s licenses the equivalent of a national ID card, but makes state participation in the plan ‘voluntary’ in order to maintain the fiction that it is not.
But, any state that opts out of the plan will, in so doing, will automatically make ‘non-persons’ out of its citizens, since the federal government will no longer accept any other form of ID.
Without a federally-approved driver’s license, US citizens won’t be able to fly or take a train. They won’t be able to drive except in their own state. In essence, no one will be able to travel domestically unless they are carrying federally approved ‘papers’.
Linked to your ‘papers’ is a national, centrally-coordinated federal database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical and possibly other characteristics.
The information in this database is allegedly confidential, but since the legislation permits it to be shared with the governments of both Mexico and Canada, it is as private as those governments want to keep it.
It permits the Secretary of Homeland Security to expand required information on drivers licenses, potentially including such biometric information as retina scans, finger prints, DNA information, and even Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) radio tracking technology.
Including such technology as RFID means the federal government, as well as the governments of Canada and Mexico, could know where American citizens are at all times.
The problem with a national ID system is similar to the problem with gun control legislation. It will only affect law-abiding citizens. Criminals will ignore it, while putting the rest of us in what amounts to a police state.
There are sound arguments in favor of the legislation, but those arguments, to mind, don’t outweigh the risks.
To get this national ID, one must present a Social Security Card. Since virtually anybody can counterfeit one on a computer, it makes it pretty much meaningless insofar as tracking the bad guys.
And, since the database is being shared with Canada, and, particularly with Mexico, any crooked official now has a new scam-in-the-making, since the sale of US identity files, including Social Security numbers, addresses, credit histories, etc., will be more profitable than the drug trade.
A national ID card has long been the goal of the liberals (who now oppose it because it isn’t their plan), but it has been on the agenda since the days of FDR. Until now, however, such a plan has never made it past its first reading in Congress, let alone making it to the floor of the Senate, (where it is also expected to pass).
Having looked at the plan in practical terms, there is another element to consider.
Two thousand years ago, the Apostle John predicted the existence of a similar database that would fall into the hands of the antichrist. John didn’t call it a database, but he described it all the same.
According to John, the antichrist would require every citizen to obtain a form of national ID, what John called ‘a mark’ — that he says no man could ‘buy or sell’ without.
Think of what that entails! In order for John’s vision to come to pass, three things must exist that did not exist in John’s day — or at any time in the last two thousand years — until now.
The first, and most obvious, would be a scheme that would positively identify those who are part of his system from those who are not.
Secondly, to accomplish this positive identification system, his agents would require access to a list — or database — against which to check credentials.
Until the present age of computers, an enforcement agent would have had to carry around a list so vast it would be essentially useless, since checking it against a single name could take days, weeks, or even years.
The Nazis and Soviets famously attempted to accomplish something similar using hard lists typed out or hand-written. Consequently, thousands of Jews and others were able to slip through the cracks.
John envisioned no such ‘cracks’ would exist when he outlined his vision. ‘All’ would either be part of the system, and ‘no man’ would be able to buy or sell from outside it.
Thirdly, in order for that list to be useful in excluding outsiders from engaging in ordinary, day to day financial transactions, there would have to be a way of restricting the use of currency to those who are in good standing.
None of these were possible even a generation ago. Today, everything is in place, including the ongoing effort to abolish hard cash as an acceptable means of currency.
Cash is still handy in restaurants (although few use it), convenience stores, (where one can buy ‘value-added’ credit cards) and for small, private purchases, but try plunking down cash for a new car or an airline ticket and you can expect a visit from the FBI.
Experiments using completely cashless systems that have been conducted in various places throughout the country have reported resounding successes.
It is another debunking of the old myth that, ‘it can’t happen here’. It is ALREADY happening here, and there are good, solid, logical reasons for implementing the exact system foretold by John for the last days.
It seems like a good idea, but, as the Scriptures remind us, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
The REAL ID Act appears to be exactly what the writer of Proverbs was describing.
That is not to say that I think there is anything to be gained by opposing it, or advocating against it, since it is a necessary part of the unfolding of God’s Plan for the Ages.
One does well to recall the argument set forth by Gamaliel, the lawyer who defended the Apostles in Acts 5:36-40.
He argued, “for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”
Especially when one compares it to the Word of the Lord, when He said,
“see that ye be not troubled: for all these things MUST COME TO PASS, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)
But, He ALSO said, “when these things BEGIN TO COME TO PASS, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)