Why America needs a national ID card
January 11, 2007
The human eye is basically like a UPS shipping label. You know the curious little starburst pattern on the label that the driver scans when he delivers the parcel? That starburst is a distinct pattern of dots that can be recognized by the driver’s tablet scanner, which immediately records the status of the parcel – delivered to Mrs. Jones on Pleasant Street on whatever date. This is how UPS tracks millions of unique parcels on a daily basis.It’s a pretty cool technology, and it can be transferred easily to recognize the unique patterns of the iris of the human eye. I was watching a news program on TV the other day, and a U.S. soldier was taking a picture of an Iraqi’s eye for his national identification card.The concerns of identifying people in Iraq are obvious. The military is capturing and releasing insurgents on a daily basis, and they need to keep track of a population of hostile people. I’m sure you’ve seen various interpretations of Muslim names, where Muhammed and Mohammed and Muhamed are all the same person. Obviously their written language doesn’t translate exactly into English, and for a country that probably doesn’t have birth records, the eye-recognition technology finally puts a name to a face.I have a friend who runs a payroll company for dozens of large businesses, many of whom are construction companies. His job is to make appropriate FICA (Social Security) and income tax deductions, pay the health insurance premiums, etc. One day he was having lunch with the owner of one large construction company. The contractor said, “I need to show you something.” He led my friend outside and up a staircase to a back room where two Mexicans were sitting over a printing machine. They were producing Social Security cards.”If one of my workers shows up with a Social Security number that doesn’t work, he’ll be back in 30 minutes with another number that does work,” said the contractor. “I don’t even want to know about it,” said my friend.Does that make you feel secure, folks? Who knows if Arturo Gonzales-Portillo is really Pedro Maria Sanchez? Or what about Hakim Hussein Muhammed? Is that his real name? If we had had an iris-identification system, the 9/11 hijackers would have been unable to carry out their scheme.Why don’t we run this country as well as UPS tracks their packages?Why don’t we have a national identification card?It’s hard to put me in a box with the “liberal” or “conservative” label. I always fight for the animals and the landscape, which the Republicans seem determined to destroy, but I watch the leftist BS and it leaves me shaking my head. Can someone help me here? Who is it, exactly, that is against a national identification card? Is it the paranoid John Birchers or some other ultraconservative group? Or is it the American Civil Liberties Union and the anarchists?When I lived in Germany, the first thing we had to do as students was bring our passports to the local police station and register as resident aliens. You don’t register? Quick trip back home. Everywhere you go in Europe, you’re expected to have your passport with you at any moment. It’s a part of life.As of January 2007, Colorado has a complete clusterhump whereby lifelong citizens who have lost their original birth certificates (quick – who among you can lay your hands on your birth certificates?) can’t get a legal driver’s license, even when they bring their passports to the driver’s license office.On the other hand, millions of illegal aliens are brazenly walking around with piles of falsified documents, wrecking cars, getting arrested half a dozen times, buying Colorado-resident hunting and fishing licenses, yet their illegal presence here is considered a “civil” offense. Are you kidding me? And if the Immigration and Naturalization Service – or whatever they’re called these days – rounds them up, they have no facilities to hold them even overnight. Minivans loaded with 15 or 17 illegals crash in the middle of the night, killing several and injuring many, and we suck up the costs of the hospital bills and shipping the bodies back home and don’t say a word. When the Colorado State Patrol finally is forced to stop dangerously overloaded vehicles full of illegal immigrants, they turn the scofflaws over to the Mexican Consulate! And we’re afraid of “violating their rights” by asking who they are and how they got here. Incredible.If everyone had to present a valid ID card with a biometric scan of his or her iris that any cop could instantly scan for verification, I bet our illegal alien population would diminish instantly – especially if the lack of a valid biometric ID meant an instant trip back across the border.So, people, answer this question for me: If a UPS driver can scan and track hundreds of packages a week, then why can’t a cop, using the same technology, identify a few suspect persons a week?Why can’t an employer use a local service to verify the identities of his new employees?If some brave legislator can pass a law mandating a national ID card, I’ll be the first one in line to get one. Take a picture of my eyeball and put me in the system.Gary Hubbell lives in Marble, where he and his wife, Doris, operate OutWest Guides. They offer summer horseback rides, fly-fishing trips and autumn big-game hunts.