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Senators Propose National ID Cards to Curb Illegal Immigration

As the Department of Homeland Security continues to urge states to adopt its national identification card program, Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsay Graham have proposed a radically new alternative -- another national identification card.

Homeland Security's Real ID initiative, which began in 2005, requires motor vehicle authorities in each state to compile Social Security numbers, birth certificates, and other personal information from all its citizens, in order to construct a national database. According to Wired, though, virtually none of the state governments have complied with the $24 billion program. Schumer and Graham's proposal, on the other hand, calls for the implementation of a "high-tech, fraud-proof Social Security card" without the creation of a national database. Instead, each citizen's unique biometric identifier would be stored directly on his or her card, which, the Senators reassure, "would not contain any private information, medical information or tracking devices." Whereas the Real ID program was instituted as a border-tightening measure in the wake of 9/11, this latest proposal is being branded as a guard against illegal immigration.

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