Eagle Forum
Eagle Forum Capitol Alert
July 8, 2002

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National ID Card Proposal is Back 
Contact Your Members of Congress Immediately!

ALERT One reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11 was renewed discussion about instituting a national ID card as a counter-terrorism measure. The Administration and Congress have wisely rejected such an idea thus far. However, direct passage of a national ID card is only one possible path to such a system. Reps. Jim Moran (D-VA) and Tom Davis (R-VA) have introduced the "Driver's License Modernization Act of 2002" (H.R. 4633), which establishes a nationwide identification system through the bureaucratic back door of state driver's licenses. Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is also drafting a driver's license proposal.

The Driver's License Modernization Act is a dangerous National ID card proposal because it:

  • Requires each state to standardize state driver's licenses and identification cards within five years; 
  • Establishes uniform standards for licenses and identification cards (a.k.a."smart" cards), including standards for biometric identifiers embedded in the card and interoperability requirements permitting all levels of government and the private sector to access and store information on the card; 
  • Requires states to adopt uniform procedures for establishing the identity and residence of applicants; and 
  • Links state motor vehicle databases.

H.R. 4633 would establish a national ID as well as the infrastructure for an unparalleled system of personal information sharing. One problem with a National ID card is the centralizing onto one computer chip a person's entire life. We do not want a system where every American is questioned, tracked, and treated as a terrorist, a drug trafficker, a money launderer, or a criminal. H.R. 4633 would take us even further toward a surveillance society that would significantly diminish the freedom and privacy of law-abiding people in the United States.

Furthermore, enacting a national ID card in the name of anti-terrorism will not necessarily make us safer. An identity card is only as good as the information that establishes identity in the first place. Identity fraud and theft are already rampant. Terrorists and criminals will continue to obtain - by legal and illegal means - the documents needed to get a government ID, such as birth certificates and Social Security numbers.

Write, e-mail or call your Representatives and Senators today! Urge them to publicly oppose the creation of a national ID card, especially through driver's license standardization or similar proposals.

Make sure that your Members DO NOT co-sponsor National ID legislation.

Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

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