MYTH: The immigration bill will create a database of photos and personal information of every American any business using E-Verify will have access to.
- “The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system.” (David Kravets, “Biometric Database of All Adult Americans Hidden in Immigration Reform,” Wired, 5/10/13)
- “Within the 800 pages of the legislation under consideration is a passage outlining the creation of a federal database so large it would contain photographs, names, ages, and Social Security numbers of every American who has a driver’s license or state-issued photo ID.” (William Bigelow, “Immigration Bill Creates Giant Database on all Americans,” Breitbart, 5/12/13)
FACT: The enhanced E-Verify system does not establish a massive biometric database of every American.
FACT: “Biometric information is being collected by the government for the purpose of determining provisional immigration status, but those affected are unauthorized aliens, not American citizens. As part of the process of transitioning to provisional status, immigrants will be required to submit biometric data: their fingerprints. Without fingerprints, the government would be hard-pressed to undertake the national security and criminal background checks that must be completed prior to granting unauthorized aliens the temporary work permits that accompany provisional status.” (Justin Greene, “The Immigration Bill Does NOT Create a ‘Biometric Database of All Adult Americans’,” Daily Beast, 5/13/13)
FACT: “The immigration bill creates what is called a “photo tool” to add another layer of security onto the existing E-Verify program. If you’ve ever applied for a visa, passport, or federal work authorization, the federal government already has your photo. But guess what? That isn’t a “biometric” data set by any reasonable definition.” (Justin Green, “The Immigration Bill Does NOT Create a ‘Biometric Database of All Adult Americans’,” Daily Beast, 5/13/13)
- The “Photo Tool” already exists and is in operation. It utilizes pictures for US Passports, Permanent Resident Cards and Employment Authorization Cards. Biometrics typically refer to certain physiological traits that are distinctly unique to you, like your fingerprints, an iris scan, or your DNA that comes off on those small sticks that you swab on the inside of your cheek at the doctor’s office. The legislation does not call for the collection of biometric information from US citizens by the Federal government.
- “Any E-Verify system that could actually prevent fraud will necessarily be more intrusive than the current system. In this case, an effort is being made to guarantee job applicants actually are who they say they are — that they are not merely stealing someone else’s social security number.” (Matt K. Lewis, “‘Wired’s attack on immigration reform gets biometrics wrong,” Daily Caller, 5/13/13)
“The bottom line seems to be that Wired and the ACLU (their primary source, it seems) conflated the biometric information that today’s illegal immigrants would be required to submit with a “photo tool” that is already in existence — and would simply be used to crack down on a sort of identity theft.” (Matt K. Lewis, “‘Wired’s attack on immigration reform gets biometrics wrong,” Daily Caller, 5/13/13)