A Security Choice

The Times Union reports that the driver’s license controversy — Governor Spitzer’s proposal to no longer require social security identification to obtain a driver’s license in New York — is heating up.

The legislature in Monroe County — in defiance of Gov. Eliot Spitzer — has ordered its county clerk to require anyone seeking a driver’s license to provide a valid Social Security number.

It is the most confrontational action so far by county officials opposed to Spitzer’s executive order allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

At least a half-dozen legislatures in Republican-dominated counties in upstate New York, including Rensselaer, have passed resolutions in support of their clerks’ refusals to follow the new policy despite state laws obligating them to do so.

The Saratoga County Board of Supervisors is expected to pass one Tuesday, while Schenectady lawmakers argued the matter this week and are expected to continue the debate next month.

Now, the big problem appears to be that without your local DMV insisting upon a social security number, we are courting doom! Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco strongly implies that Osama bin Laden himself is more or less putting a lampshade on his head and partying as we speak!

In contrast, Governor Spitzer proposes these security measures:

  1.   Undocumented immigrants will not be able to get a license in the over-the-counter manner that lawful residents currently go through.  Instead, they will submit six points of identification to a central Document Verification Unit in DMV – the first of its kind in the nation – where specially-trained staff will verify their validity.
  2. We will also require all undocumented immigrants to present a current and valid foreign passport with photo identification—passports that can be scanned and verified using new, state-of-the-art document scanning machines.
  3. And DMV will implement new photo-comparison technology that will compare the photograph of every applicant against the database of photographs in the current system to make sure an applicant is not able to get more than one license fraudulently. 

Yet these security measure are no match for the security of social security numbers, say the counties. Or are they? I wonder whether all these county legislators have heard the news from San Francisco, as reported in the Washington Post:

A federal judge barred the Bush administration yesterday from launching a planned crackdown on U.S. companies that employ illegal immigrants, warning of its potentially “staggering” impact on law-abiding workers and companies.

In a firm rebuke of the White House, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer of San Francisco granted a preliminary injunction against the president’s plan to press employers to fire as many as 8.7 million workers with suspect Social Security numbers, starting this fall…

“There can be no doubt that the effects of the rule’s implementation will be severe,” Breyer wrote, resulting in “irreparable harm to innocent workers and employers.”

Hmmmm….. and that would be because?

The plaintiffs convinced the judge that the Social Security Administration database includes so many errors — incorporated in the records of about 9.5 million people in 2003 alone — that its use in firings would unfairly discriminate against tens of thousands of legal workers, including native-born and naturalized U.S. citizens, and cause major workforce disruptions that would burden companies.

So given the choice between an error-ridden social security identification system and Spitzer’s system, the choice for New York’s overall security is —

Social Security Cards????


One response to “A Security Choice

  1. Pingback: Assembly Minority, Unwired and Unhinged « EcuProphets

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