This issue brings out strong feelings on both sides of the debate, there’s no question about that, and there has been a lot of misinformation that has been floated about the Gang of Eight’s proposal. While immigration reform is something that Congress must eventually address, there is a right way to go about it, but this bill is simply not it.
On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee cleared the immigration reform bill, which set the stage to bring it to the full chamber for debate next month. Perhaps the most glaring concern with the bill was mentioned in The Hill’s story on its passage out of committee (emphasis mine):
The legislation raises caps on high-skilled workers and creates a new visa program for low-skilled workers.
It would allocate billions of dollars to securing the southwestern border and tracking visas at airports and seaports around the country. It would make E-Verify mandatory for employers across the country in order to crack down on illegal workers and deter future waves of illegal immigration
The legislation passed by a vote of 13 to 5 with three Republicans joining 10 Democrats to approve the measure. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said it will come to the floor next month.
That’s a big problem and should be a dealbreaker for privacy advocates. Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute, explained last month that this troubling aspect of the immigration reform bill is the “path to a national ID” system: