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Seriously, Democrats, Can You Get Any Creepier Than the BELIEVE Program?

As part of a comprehensive Immigration bill, Democrats are planning to make everyone who wants to work in this country get a national ID embedded with biometric data. This will be a requirement for both citizens and immigrants. Under this plan, the government would create a national biometric database cataloging every person in the country. On top of that, Democrats chose possibly the creepiest, Orwellian name they could think of for this national ID card (which, in true 1984 fashion, they are refusing to acknowledge is a national ID card): the BELIEVE program.

What really annoys me about this BELIEVE program, besides its creepy, stupid name and dangerous implications, is the ridiculous logic being used to justify this unprecedented step. Does anyone think that the millions of undocumented immigrants in this country now working got their jobs by cleverly tricking law-abiding employers? Am I to believe that employers at some meat processing plant that employs hundreds of undocumented immigrants were tricked by the brilliant, low-income immigrants? Am I to believe the meat packers had actively taken steps to make sure they hire only people who they honestly thought were here legally? Is the government now claiming that there is almost no one out there actively trying to hire undocumented immigrants–that they are only hiring them “accidentally” because they can’t verify their status?

This sounds absurd to me. It seems like the overwhelming majority of companies hiring undocumented workers are hiring them because they are undocumented workers, or they are purposefully pretending to be ignorant. It would seem that the universe of people who accidentally hired an undocumented immigrant despite actively trying not to is very small. And if the problem were really super-clever undocumented immigrants tricking diligent agribusiness mega-corporations, I’m sure the immigrants would find away to forge this new ID soon enough.

Of course, when addressing a problem–which is probably 90% caused by treating large corporations that break the law with the softest of kid gloves–why not suggest a hugely costly national ID and biometric database that is sure to terrify civil libertarians? More importantly with President Obama making it clear that immigration reform is not going anywhere, why put this creepy provision in the outline at all?

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at