In response to my queries, America’s Voice and the SEIU have come out against national ID card proposals. National Immigration Forum is waiting for actual legislation before taking a position.After several phone calls, Center for Community Change and NCLR have not made any statement for the record.
This important article from the Washington Post provides an outline & sense of the tone of issues discussed -and possibly proposed- by Obama’s Immigration reform task force, which includes some influential Latinos like the SEIU’s Eliseo Medina and Raul Yzaguirre of National Council of La Raza:
– Placing a priority on “national security concerns,”
– strict quotas on work-based immigrant visas to maintain its scientific, technological and military edge,”
– “must include expanding temporary-worker programs.” (McCain) – “earned legalization, not amnesty” –
– And, of course, this: ” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, chairman of a Senate immigration subcommittee that is taking the lead on reform legislation, said the recommendations track his plans for the bill, particularly the “biometric” document verification system. “Their basic principles are similar to ours,” Schumer said in a statement, “. . . but there are lots of details that must be filled in.”
What I’d like to know-and what I think we ALL need to know- is if Eliseo Medina & the SEIU & Raul Yzaguirre & NCLR and the groups in Washington DC are on board with including proposals for National ID Card as part of immigration reform-or any other reform, for that matter.
The ACLU, one of the country’s leading lights on matters of state surveillance denounced the national ID idea the day it was brought up by Schumer .
I’ve tried to interview some-NCLR, America’s Voice, others- in DC about the National ID Card & all I get are evasive or no responses. One person who did actually respond to the National ID question when asked on GRITTV said “It’s perfectly reasonable that the American people to expect that the borders will be controlled, that we’ll know who’s here and that we’ll have a process going forward where enforcement works.”
In all frankness, I see no difference between this message and the message of right wingers-except the messenger.
I truly and honestly implore those of you in DC to do the right thing on the National ID Card idea: Repudiate and denounce it immediately as the ACLU and even libertarian and right wing groups have done. Your failure to come out against national identification card proposals needlessly moves the discussion away from the nuts and bolts disagreements about what constitutes “real immigration reform” and into questions about your commitment to civil liberties and I, for one, really think that we all lose in that wasteful discussion. While I’ve questioned and differed on matters of immigration policy, you’ve never given me a reason to question your commitment to civil liberties. I really hope the National ID card does not become that occasion.
And, this just in from our friends at the Department of Homeland Security: President Obama and DHS head Napolitano back strengthening E-verify.
Can’t say I look forward to discussing and debating this stuff in larger forums.