Congressman Ron Paul explains on Fox News why he is opposed to a national ID card.
Channel: Fox News
Megyn Kelly: With President Obama taking on not only health care reform but another controversial issue: immigration reform, and the key meeting at the White House tomorrow could be the first step toward that reform and for some very big changes for every American worker. Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham, bipartisan that is, are set to sit down with President Obama tomorrow, discussing plans for a National Identification Card. Now this thing is meant to crack down on illegal workers but our guest says it could crack down on you and your privacy. Congressman Ron Paul is a Texas Republican, he is opposed to this card. Congressman, good afternoon to you.
Ron Paul: Good afternoon, nice to be with you.
Megyn Kelly: It’s a great pleasure to have you. All right, so what’s the problem with the National ID Card? Because its proponents say “this is it, this is the thing that’s gonna finally help us stop illegal immigrants from coming in here and taking jobs.”
Ron Paul: Well, we do have a problem with illegal immigration, but I would say the problems of every American citizen carrying their papers wherever they go is a much worse problem than illegal immigration. Besides you can take care of illegal immigration otherwise, but people over the decades now in this country now and there have been some who have wanted this National ID Card and they’re looking for every opportunity to do it. And this is it. I mean, who knows what will come of it. My guess is they’ll probably have a GPS chip in there so that they can measure everybody, every instant, no matter where they go. So to me it violates the whole principles of privacy, the principles of the Constitution, the principles of the Republic and to me that’s a gross distortion of what we should be doing. It’s part of an authoritarian society and dictatorships have this but not a republic. We’re not supposed to have that…
Megyn Kelly: OK, but tell me how, tell me how it’s invasive because what Schumer and Graham are proposing, according to what I read, is your ID card would have either your fingerprint, your thumbprint on there or will have a reading of the veins on the back of your hand and you’d have to be scanned by your prospective employer. In that way, if it came out that you were illegal they would catch you by the scan. How does that, I mean it’s not really GPS, how does the scan of your fingerprint bother you?
Ron Paul: No, no. Someday it may do this, but why should you have to do this? And they said as well the equipment to scan your hand or your card is going to cost about $800. And I say, well, what about somebody who might only have one or two employees and they don’t want to buy the equipment? “Oh you can go to a government office to do this.”
Can you imagine if the post office takes this up and you stand in line to take your potential employee over and try to get them scanned? I mean, the whole notion of us carrying our papers in everything that we do, every job we get, it will be a National Identifying Card. One thing that Graham, I think, argued, “well we already have Social Security cards.”
Megyn Kelly: Right.
Ron Paul: Well, I have a Social Security card that says, “Not to be used for identification purposes.” That’s what the original Social Security card said. And a Social Security card—
Megyn Kelly: What about a driver’s license? Virtually all of have one of those.
Ron Paul: Yeah, but I don’t have to have a driver’s license to get a job. You know, I didn’t have to have it to come to Congress. I didn’t have to show that if I could come to Congress without…
Megyn Kelly: But why not, Congressman, you know, the people who are fired up about this, yes they recognize that it would result in somewhat of a loss of civil liberties but they are very concerned about illegal immigration and you said there are other ways of controlling it but we’re not doing it.
Ron Paul: Well, that’s a failure of enforcing our laws. And one of the problems that we have is that we have a failed economic system that makes immigrants a threat to individuals because of our weak economy, so if we had a decent economy we’d probably be begging people to come and work because there would be… and quite frankly, a couple of years ago I had as many people come to my office looking for immigrants to come in to work as I did people screaming and hollering because we had too many.
Megyn Kelly: What do you think — I’m sorry to interrupt, but I wanted get your thoughts on this before I let you go. What do you think the government might do to us if we all had a National ID Card?
Ron Paul: Well, they would monitor everything that we do and surveillance, the lack of privacy. It’s always for good purposes. Everything is for good and they’re going to get rid of illegal immigration and they’re going to find the criminals but they’re also going to monitor every single person, every single thing they do. It’s sort of this idea of why not have cameras every place on every street corner because we’ll catch the bad guys. Why don’t they have cameras in our house in case there’s child-beating or wife-beating? I mean, that’s why one thing leads to another. You either believe in freedom or you don’t. If you think you need supervision and surveillance constantly by your government, and right now the degree of confidence and trust in our government is very very low. To turn this additional tool over to the government, to me, should outrage the American people and so far the people I hear from are outraged.
Megyn Kelly: So interesting to listen to your thoughts on that. The meeting happens tomorrow at the White House. The White House has taken no position on it thus far, but Graham’s a Republican, Schumer’s a Democrat. We’ll see whether they get it through this time. Congressman Ron Paul, thank you so much for your thoughts on it.
Ron Paul: Thank you.