The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked. This is my six point plan:
i would never vote for him because of this policy
A National ID Bill Masquerading as Immigration Reform
Rep. Ron Paul,
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Before the US House of Representatives, February 9, 2005
I rise in strong opposition to HR 418, the REAL ID Act. This bill purports to make us safer from terrorists who may sneak into the United States, and from other illegal immigrants. While I agree that these issues are of vital importance, this bill will do very little to make us more secure. It will not address our real vulnerabilities. It will, however, make us much less free. In reality, this bill is a Trojan horse. It pretends to offer desperately needed border control in order to stampede Americans into sacrificing what is uniquely American: our constitutionally protected liberty.
What is wrong with this bill?
The REAL ID Act establishes a national ID card by mandating that states include certain minimum identification standards on driver’s licenses. It contains no limits on the government’s power to impose additional standards. Indeed, it gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to unilaterally add requirements as he sees fit.
Supporters claim it is not a national ID because it is voluntary. However, any state that opts out will automatically make non-persons out of its citizens. The citizens of that state will be unable to have any dealings with the federal government because their ID will not be accepted. They will not be able to fly or to take a train. In essence, in the eyes of the federal government they will cease to exist. It is absurd to call this voluntary.
Republican Party talking points on this bill, which claim that this is not a national ID card, nevertheless endorse the idea that “the federal government should set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification such as driver’s licenses.” So they admit that they want a national ID but at the same time pretend that this is not a national ID.
This bill establishes a massive, centrally-coordinated database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical and possibly other characteristics. What is even more disturbing is that, by mandating that states participate in the “Drivers License Agreement,” this bill creates a massive database of sensitive information on American citizens that will be shared with Canada and Mexico!
This bill could have a chilling effect on the exercise of our constitutionally guaranteed rights. It re-defines "terrorism" in broad new terms that could well include members of firearms rights and anti-abortion groups, or other such groups as determined by whoever is in power at the time. There are no prohibitions against including such information in the database as information about a person’s exercise of First Amendment rights or about a person’s appearance on a registry of firearms owners.
This legislation gives authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to expand required information on driver’s licenses, potentially including such biometric information as retina scans, finger prints, DNA information, and even Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) radio tracking technology. Including such technology as RFID would mean that the federal government, as well as the governments of Canada and Mexico, would know where Americans are at all times of the day and night.
There are no limits on what happens to the database of sensitive information on Americans once it leaves the United States for Canada and Mexico – or perhaps other countries. Who is to stop a corrupt foreign government official from selling or giving this information to human traffickers or even terrorists? Will this uncertainty make us feel safer?
What will all of this mean for us? When this new program is implemented, every time we are required to show our driver’s license we will, in fact, be showing a national identification card. We will be handing over a card that includes our personal and likely biometric information, information which is connected to a national and international database.
H.R. 418 does nothing to solve the growing threat to national security posed by people who are already in the U.S. illegally. Instead, H.R. 418 states what we already know: that certain people here illegally are "deportable." But it does nothing to mandate deportation.
Although Congress funded an additional 2,000 border guards last year, the administration has announced that it will only ask for an additional 210 guards. Why are we not pursuing these avenues as a way of safeguarding our country? Why are we punishing Americans by taking away their freedoms instead of making life more difficult for those who would enter our country illegally?
H.R. 418 does what legislation restricting firearm ownership does. It punishes law-abiding citizens. Criminals will ignore it. H.R. 418 offers us a false sense of greater security at the cost of taking a gigantic step toward making America a police state.
I urge my colleagues to vote “NO” on the REAL ID Act of 2005.
February 12, 2005
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
Here is Ron Paul himself explaining the immigration policies he would support
Here is Ron Paul at the Republican debate at the historically black Morgan State University Debate (if he is racist, why would he go to this? If you watch, the BLACK moderator treated Paul with utmost respect, some of the other GOP frontrunners, did NOT show up) Here is his answer on Illegal immigration.
Missing the Point: Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research
Rep. Ron Paul,
by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Medical and scientific ethics issues are in the news again, as Congress narrowly passed a bill last week that funds controversial embryonic stem cell research. While I certainly sympathize with those who understandably hope such research will lead to cures for terrible diseases, I object to forcing taxpayers who believe harvesting embryos is immoral to pay for it.
Congressional Republicans, eager to appease pro-life voters while still appearing suitably compassionate, supported a second bill that provides nearly $80 million for umbilical cord stem cell research. But it’s never compassionate to spend other people’s money for political benefit.
The issue is not whether the federal government should fund one type of stem cell research or another. The issue is whether the federal government should fund stem cell research at all. Clearly there is no constitutional authority for Congress to do so, which means individual states and private citizens should decide whether to permit, ban, or fund it. Neither party in Washington can fathom that millions and millions of Americans simply don’t want their tax dollars spent on government research of any kind. This viewpoint is never considered.
Federal funding of medical research guarantees the politicization of decisions about what types of research for what diseases will be funded. Scarce tax resources are allocated according to who has the most effective lobby, rather than on the basis of need or even likely success. Federal funding also causes researchers to neglect potential treatments and cures that do not qualify for federal funds. Medical advancements often result from radical ideas and approaches that are scoffed at initially by the establishment. When scientists become dependent on government funds, however, they quickly learn not to rock the boat and stick to accepted areas of inquiry. Federal funds thus distort the natural market for scientific research.
The debate over stem cell research involves profound moral, religious, and ethical question – questions Congress is particularly ill equipped to resolve. The injustice of forcing taxpayers to fund research some find ethically abhorrent is patently obvious. When we insist on imposing one-size-fits-all social policies determined in Washington, we invariably make millions of Americans very angry. Again, the constitutional approach to resolving social issues involves local, decentralized decision-making. This approach is not perfect, but it is much better than pretending Congress possesses the magical wisdom to serve as the nation’s moral arbiter. Decentralized decisions and privatized funding would eliminate much of the ill will between supporters and opponents of stem cell research.
Government cannot instill morality in the American people. On the contrary, rigid, centralized, government decision-making is indicative of an apathetic and immoral society. The greatest casualty of centralized government decision-making is personal liberty.
May 31, 2005
Meh, i'm not a fan of his immigration policies or the gold standard either.