National ID card


Within the past few days, there have been news reports anticipating a change in air travel ID requirements. There are indications that, in the near future, plain IDs such as a driver's license may be insufficient. There are hints that some travelers may be required to present a passport.


There is an irrational strain of concern extant in this country when it comes to the term national ID card. It seems to harken back to those halcyon days of rural America, when, by God, my home was my castle and my business mine alone. Well, hallelujah, just tweet those complaints to Vladimir's guest, Edward Snowden.


This writer has supported the institution of a uniform, national ID system forever. Following is my open-letter to Congress, dated exactly ten years ago. With the advancement of technology over that decade, what was written then is even more applicable today.


***** ***** *****


Dear Elected Representative:


I am aware of the generally stated opposition to a national identification card: namely, a loss of privacy. I have always found that somewhat specious, since the idea of privacy long ago was obliterated by the increasing utilization of the Social Security card, driver's license and credit card as documents of personal identification. The sale of clients' lists by governmental and private agencies has further eroded the thin veneer of "privacy."


Since September 11, 2001 and the advent of the "Patriot Act," holding on to the above concerns is patently ludicrous, in light of our current quest for lasting security. With the ongoing California flap regarding drivers' licenses for undocumented aliens, it appears that the need for a national ID card is even more relevant.


Of course, I am not referring to the run-of-the-mill piece of paper sealed in plastic. With today's technology, we should be able to produce a non-duplicative document capable of holding the desired amount of biometric information, along with an embedded electronic chip with all other required information. The card should have different color-coding that indicate the corresponding class of cardholder. These color classifications would be as follows:


Native-born United States CitizensNaturalized Citizens of the United StatesLegal Resident AliensResident Aliens with Student VisasWorkers Admitted to the United States on Temporary VisasEt Cetera


The color-coding immediately alerts officials to the classification under which an individual is authorized to be in the United States. Despite any other source of documentation, this system immediately isolates those who are in the country illegally. This alone will relieve employers, or anyone else, from determining the immigration status of a prospective employee or associate. This also would be the case for educational and other institutions where immigration status is of concern.


For this card, a numbering system other than that of the Social Security card should be considered.


***** ***** *****

A national ID came out.

It caused all the people to shout.

"Go back where you were,

"You wild, mangy cur;

"We'd rather remain here in doubt!"



Curtis W. Long

Curtis W. Long

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