Unfortunately, Arizona does NOT have it right

By Tom DeWeese and Mark Lerner

There is no question that the citizens of Arizona, like the citizens of all of the southern border states, face grave and outrageous dangers from the invasion of illegals rushing across the borders. Private property is being destroyed; crime is skyrocketing; costs for schools and hospitals is forcing bankruptcy on local communities; and violence is becoming a way of life. No American, living in a nation where rights are supposed to be protected and guaranteed, should be forced to live under such conditions.

The problem, of course, is that the federal government refuses to take the actions necessary to stop illegal immigration. It refuses to secure the border either by placing more border patrol agents in place or allowing local police forces to take action when they have a known illegal in their custody. In addition, the federal government refuses to allow local and state agencies to withdraw taxpayer services like schools, healthcare and welfare to illegals.

As a result, the lure of easy money and free housing, health care and schools looming just across an unprotected border draws those now living in the failed socialist Mexican system. The risk is low and the rewards are high. And so they come in ever growing numbers, swamping the systems that were set up to serve American taxpayers.

Desperate Arizonians have had enough and have taken steps to do something about it. As a result, the state has passed and is ready to enforce legislation (SB1070) that has become a national debate on how to best secure our nation against this ever growing invasion. The problem is, in spite of its courageous stand as an example to the rest of the nation, Arizona may not have it right and will do more harm than good to the all-important fight to stop illegal immigration. Worse, it may stand as a direct threat to the liberties of all Americans, which the law was actually intended to protect.

To understand the potential threat to Americans liberties posed by SB1070, it must be put in the proper context of what the federal government is driving towards – a total surveillance society, seeking any and all information about each and every American citizen.

In that vein, it is important to note that information is power and currently, only the federal government is collecting such information. SB1070 could change that, not only in Arizona, but in states that are now considering enacting similar laws. Moreover, the information the federal government is collecting is your information and it is being shared with international law enforcement agencies and foreign governments at the discretion of the federal government.

Unintended Consequences

There is no question that our country must deal with the problem of illegal immigration. The purpose of SB1070 is to identify people in our country illegally, specifically Arizona, and insure those people are sent back to their country of origin. But how is that to be accomplished, according the SB1070?

1) The following is the wording contained in the legislation:

F. Except as provided in federal law, officials or agencies of this state and counties, cities, towns and other political subdivisions of this state may not be prohibited or in any way

be restricted from sending, receiving or maintaining information relating to the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual or exchanging that information with any other federal, state or local governmental entity for the following official purposes:

1. Determining eligibility for any public benefit, service or license provided by any federal, state, local or other political subdivision of this state.

2. Verifying any claim of residence or domicile if determination of residence or domicile is required under the laws of this state or a judicial order issued pursuant to a civil or criminal proceeding in this state.

2) SB1070 is and will be used as a“tool”allowing the federal government to have at its disposal more information about U.S. citizens. This is an example of unintended consequences.

The wording of the bill (see above) calls for the personal information of all Arizona citizens to be sent to DHS/federal government whether the person is seeking any public benefit or applying for any type of license (can be a fishing license, driver’s license, business license, hunting license or even a permit for a weapon). Although there is a minimum amount of information that will be provided to the federal government the legislation does not set any limit on just how much information can or should be provided the federal government.

3) The domicile issue must and should be handled by those responsible for the issuance of driver’s licenses and not every other state agency and/or department. Many women do not want their physical address shared with potentially many people because of domestic violence issues. Many Americans were concerned about the census this year. It is one thing for the government to have a count of the population but another to have the exact location (GPS) of every person’s residence.

4) The federal government has a number of pieces of proposed legislation that will result in what some refer to as a “national ID”. These various ID’s all incorporate biometrics (measurements of the body). The standards for the biometrics (facial recognition) are the adopted standards of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) an agency of the United Nations. U.S. citizens are not just being enrolled into a national identification system but an international system of identification that applies to all people of the world. This “system” directly links your body to a system of financial control.

5) Currently the Real ID Act 2005 is federal law. Congress is considering repealing Title II of the Real ID Act and passing the PASS ID Act. This would NOT change U.S. citizens being enrolled into a single global system of identification that directly links that identification to a person’s ability to buy, sell or travel. Also, Congress is considering a new biometric social security card and as part of the Immigration Reform legislation, a biometric “National Worker’s Identification” card. The recently passed Obama Healthcare Reform bill will result in some type of national medical identification card. The details on that card will become more apparent as the rulemaking process plays out for the legislation.

6) At what point will the states stop relying on the federal government to accomplish what the states can do for the most part without the reliance on the federal government? The federal government has made no secret of its intention to compile as much information about each citizen as possible. This includes your biometric samples and data.

6A) The federal government wants the personal information of Americans either through direct electronic access or indirect access. Currently the “federal government”

has much of our personal information already. The fact is “that information” is spread out over many departments and agencies of the federal government. DHS wants a more centralized system and thus we have witnessed the Real ID Act 2005 and now the PASS ID Act.

Because the standards for both Real ID and PASS ID are the adopted standards of two international organizations, AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators-An international organization by their own admission that currently includes the provinces of Canada and the states and territories of the United States and the ICAO, the driver’s license would become not simply a national ID but more accurately an international ID. International standards are only used to facilitate global information sharing.

U.S. citizens should know that their federal tax dollars were used to provide states with grant money in order to assure that the districts of Mexico are added to AAMVA’s jurisdiction. AAMVA wants a single jurisdiction of the United States, Canada and Mexico. It was no accident this single jurisdiction concept began in 1994 when the NAFTA treaty was signed.

The Fed’s “free pass” – Exemption

The following comes from a February 2006 GCN (Government Computer News) article: (Mocny/DHS) said, ‘We have a responsibility to make a Global Security Envelope that would coordinate information policies and technical standards.’

Robert Mocny, of the Department of Homeland Security, conceded that each of the 10 privacy laws currently in effect in the United States has an exemption clause for national- security purposes. He added that the department only resorts to its essentially unlimited authority under those clauses when officials decide that there are compelling reasons to do so.

In a 2007 article in the same publication Mocny stated “We’re starting the process of biometrifying [sic] a good proportion of the world population.” Robert Mocny also stated that “information sharing is appropriate around the world, and DHS plans to create a “Global Security Envelope of internationally shared biometric data that would permanently link individuals with biometric ID, personal information held by governments and corporations.”

Mocny’s Department of Homeland Security is the same government agency that has stated nearly all

Americans are potentially domestic terrorists. Under Real ID, the Secretary of DHS is given the authority in the “Official Purposes” section to add restrictions at his or hers own discretion. Real ID currently restricts entrance to a federal facility, flying on a commercial airliner or entering a nuclear facility. Tomorrow we could see restrictions on purchasing weapons, ammunition or even prescription drugs. This kind of unfettered authority is unacceptable.

In Mocny’s statement we see that DHS can decide when to ignore our privacy laws. He never mentions consulting with Congress or even the President for that matter.

SB1070 does not create a national ID card but it does embolden the federal government. States should not and must not depend or rely on the federal government when the states themselves can go a long way towards resolving the issue of citizenship.

There would be times when the federal government might be needed but first every state has a responsibility to only involve the federal government when all other means have been exhausted. We cannot comprehend why a state would offer up/volunteer their own citizen’s personal information to a department of the federal government that has made their intentions clear. Let us not forget DHS had made it clear that it believes domestic terrorism is a much threat as terrorism initiated outside our borders. If they felt you were a potential terrorist would they share your personal information with other governments and/or corporations?

Do you belong to a third party or support a third party candidate? Are you an anti-war activist or environmentalist? Are you an Evangelical Christian? Do you believe the militias are constitutional? If you answered yes to any of the proceeding questions you are under the eye of DHS.

A real solution – the Hub System

The Real ID Act and the PASS ID Act breeder documents (documents needed to obtain a driver’s license) must be authenticated. Nearly all citizens of the United States have birth certificates or an acceptable alternative. We suggest a “hub” system be put in place that is solely controlled by the states. The hub itself would not retain any information, only act as a conduit. All DMV’s would have the capability to communicate with the state issuing agencies or departments of birth certificates. Not everyone has what is called a birth certificate. Certificates of Birth and other similar documents can be authenticated just as birth certificates can.

The federal government wants birth certificates

digitized and we agree. We go one step further and believe all birth certificates must be numbered starting with the two letter abbreviation for each state. Once a birth certificate is presented to acquire a driver’s license or other form of identification the birth certificate number would go into databases as active. If anyone else attempted to use that same numbered birth certificate the “system” would show that birth certificate had been used previously to obtain an ID document or driver’s license. At that point it would be very simple to determine if someone was attempting to use another person’s birth certificate or if a person was using a birth certificate that was not in the “system”.

SB1070 is enabling DHS to gather much more personal information of citizens. Domicile information is not the business of DHS. We would ask that Arizona legislators work with the legislators of the other states and agree to create the hub system described above. Telecommunications companies tell us that the network could be in place in a short period of time. A focused and coordinated effort must take place to digitize and number birth certificates.

It’s easy to beat the biometric net

We, as a country do not have the biometric data of most Islamic extremists or for that matter many of the people entering our country illegally through Mexico or Canada. If a person comes into our country and we do not have their biometric data there is nothing right now to stop that person from “beating” the “system”. That person can obtain counterfeit breeder documents including a birth certificate and social security card for a couple of hundred dollars.

Yet, our government is insisting all Americans be enrolled into a single global biometric identification system (facial recognition). There is a reason facial recognition is not used to see if a person has a driver’s license in other states. The technology does not work when hundreds of millions of images are compared. (Source: 2003 AAMVA sponsored report conducted by the IBG (International Biometric Group).

Recently the talk of all forms of a “national/international ID has sparked debate over the cost of such an ambitious effort. Estimates run in the hundreds of billions of dollars. The cost of putting in place a hub system that would allow for the issuing agency at the state level of state driver’s licenses to authenticate a birth certificate with the issuing state agency that is responsible for birth certificates would be far, far less and the states would control the hub – not

the federal government. The hub would simply be a secure telecommunication system that would require multiple “super computers” to crack. The hub would be far more secure than DMV offices are currently.

The only reason the Real ID Act and PASS ID do not violate the 1974 Privacy Act is that the states that are collecting the personal information of citizens that DHS wants. The states are being used as surrogates. SB1070 is tantamount to giving a child a free pass in a candy store. In this case Arizona is feeding DHS citizen’s information.

The DHS drive for total surveillance is a threat to liberty

Keep in mind it is each citizen’s foremost responsibility to pass on to future generations, the rights, liberty and freedom they inherited at such great sacrifice from previous generations. SB1070 does not meet that test.

Ben Franklin is attributed with the quote“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Unfortunately, in its frustration, Arizona and other supporters around the nation are willing to help build a surveillance society in the name of “doing something.”

Another proposed “solution” to the illegal immigration problem has been the E-Verify system. It is not only included in Arizona’s SB1070, but in other tough imigration laws touted in states like Oklahoma. It must be understood that the SSN database is riddled with errors with estimates running as high as 13 million errors. Admittedly most are not serious errors but that being said there is a problem causing E-Verify to correctly identify those in our country illegally less than 50% of the time.

The following comes from an AP story:

The online tool E-Verify, now used voluntarily by employers, wrongly clears illegal workers about 54 percent of the time, according to Westat, a research company that evaluated the system for the Homeland Security Department. E-Verify missed so many illegal workers mainly because it can’t detect identity fraud, Westat said.

A recent report verified that DHS has conducted three programs, each of which involved spying on American citizens. The programs — Pantheon, Pathfinder and Organizational Shared Space — used a variety of software tools to gather and analyze information about Americans, according to documents obtained by the Center for

Investigative Reporting. DHS turned over the papers in response to a December 2008 Freedom of Information Act request.

Another part of the equation is a company named L-1 Identity Solutions. L-1 and the World Bank have reached an agreement to insure all people in the world, including third world countries, are enrolled into a single global system of identification that translates into a single system of control.

Why is L-1 significant? L-1 is the largest biometric company in the United States and arguably the world. L-1 provides nearly 95% all state driver’s licenses. It is involved in the production of all passports and passport cards. It is a global company that has had or does have the former Directors of the CIA, FBI, TSA and others on its Board of Directors. L-1 also has an intelligence division that has contracts with nearly every intelligence agency of the federal government. In addition to losing a contract for misleading the client and being accused by the SEC for insiders selling stock in advance of adverse financial news (settled suit) L-1, under its previous name Viisage Technology overstated the capability of its biometric technology many documented times.

Why should a citizen care that L-1 is a global company and what does it mean to individuals? L-1 also provided their facial recognition technology knowing that technology was going to be tested by the Red Chinese government. Naturally the Chinese wanted to use the technology to identify dissidents. That proves the power of the system and the danger to individuals when in the hands of dangerous dictatorships.

Today thousands of surveillance cameras on nearly every street corner are pointed at you. It does not matter if you are in your hometown or Paris, France. You can be identified through the use of facial recognition technology, biometric and CCTV technology.

This is nothing new and has been going on for some time. Viisage Technology, now called L-1 Identity Solutions used facial recognition technology to capture the digital facial images of people who entered the Super Bowl in 2001, before the attacks on 9/11.

The company claimed huge success in assisting law enforcement to capture people who were wanted by law enforcement. The technology has been used many times since. We should all face the fact we live in a surveillance

society. Government does spy on our emails, phone calls and monitor our financial transactions. A free society and a surveillance society cannot coexist.

Under the provisions of the Patriot Act, the FBI has been given legal authority beyond what they previously had. The result has been abuses of NSL’s (National Security Letters) The FBI can issue an NSL to L-1 Identity Solutions requesting information such as, but not limited to, citizens biometric samples/data/templates and you would know nothing about it. States have archived databases for their DMV’s that L-1 controls. State DMV’s would not know the information was provided to the FBI. NSL’s require that the company not discuss the NSL with anyone. There are no search warrants or other legal instruments needed before the FBI issues NSL’s.

This is a violation of the Constitution in so many ways. Congress must address the issue of L-1 and insure if L-1 is to remain the primary vendor for identification documents that there are strict laws put in place to protect citizens from L-1 sharing any information unless a court order exist.


State lawmakers and yes, some citizens are willing to sacrifice liberty towards what they falsely will address issues such as illegal immigration and terrorism.

It is incredible to know that almost 9 years after 9/11 our borders are still wide open. More incredible still to know that DHS has a goal of only stopping 29% of the illegal people and goods entering our country through authorized Custom Border Patrol checkpoints.

One should realize just how much of our borders do not have authorized Custom Border Patrol checkpoints. What percentage of illegal goods and people are entering in those areas? Understand that if the goal is to only prevent 29% that means 71% will get through.

The problem continues to be the failure of the Federal government to secure our nation’s borders. Arizona has tried to address the problem with SB1070 and now other states are looking at the law as a possible model. People are desperate to save their country.

In reality, SB1070 has been packed with models for

federal law, such as E-Verify and the SAVE Act (the “Secure America Though Verification And Enforcement” Act). These very bad laws have not been able to pass Congress and so supporters are now seeking success on a state by state basis. The bottom line is SB1070 has become the Trojan Horse in the drive to create an International ID system that will track our every move. It is not freedom and it is not security.

It is refreshing that there are elected officials like Arizona’s governor who are willing to stand against massive pressure, even federal lawsuits, to try to do what is right. And it is exciting to see that leasers in other states are willing to do the same. It is part of the new and growing revolution against federal tyranny. But these leaders must also be careful to watch for the pitfalls that may result in their actions.

There is most certainly a need for strong legislation to stop the largest invasion our nation has ever experienced. But such legislation must focus on prohibiting illegals from coming here, rather than forcing the rest of us in a surveillance straight jacket. Toward that end, unfortunately, Arizona’s SB1070 accomplishes very little except sacrificing the liberty of U.S. citizens.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods (www.CFACT.org). He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.