Essay about Argument Against a National Identification System

1330 Words 6 Pages
Argument Against a National Identification System

The concept of a national ID card has been debated in the United States for over three decades. In the past, the opposition as well as its allies has been strong. As a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks there has been new interest in the concept of national ID cards. While this idea is not all a new, it is closer to becoming more of a reality than ever, gaining the approval by the key members of congress. Currently the Bush Administration objects this renewed idea, however due to the intense emotion from the recent terrorist attacks the nation is closer to the idea than ever before. The idea of a national identity (ID) card seems simple enough. Take the photographic and
…show more content…
2. What are the primary purposes of ID cards? Race, politics, and religion are often at the heart of older ID systems. Card systems have been instituted to control the threat of insurgents or political extremists, to facilitate religious discrimination, to enforce quota systems, and to allow for social engineering. The FAQ notes: "At the heart of such plans is a parallel increase in police powers. Even in democratic nations, police retain the right to demand ID on pain of detention."

3. What is the cost of an ID card system? The expense of implementing such a system has been at the forefront of both political and public opposition in a number of countries, including Australia, the Philippines, and the United Kingdom. Cost estimates to create and issue national ID cards in the United States are around $3 billion.

4. Can ID cards assist law enforcement? The usefulness of ID cards to law enforcement has been marginal. Little evidence has been advanced to demonstrate that they would either reduce the incidence of crime or enhance the success of prosecution. Police authorities in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom have stated their reluctance to administer a compulsory card that might erode relations with the public. Furthermore, forgeries would be inevitable. Obviously, the more an ID card is used, the greater the value placed on it and, consequently, the higher its

Related Documents