Futures America

National Identification

Citizenship is one of the singularly most important responsibilities and privileges of all Americans.  Citizenship determines who pays for and what benefits are available to our country's citizens.  And many have sacrificed greatly and even given their lives so that the rights and privileges of citizenship are available to us.  

The United States is a nation of immigrants and has allowed, on average, over one million new legal immigrants annually.  Following the removal of 
ethnic quotas on immigration in 1965 the number of actual (first-generation) immigrants living in the United States quadrupled from 9.6 million in 1970 to about 38 million in 2007.  Over one million persons were naturalized as U.S. citizens in 2008.  Nearly 14 million immigrants entered the United States from 2000 to 2010.  And most feel that over the nearly 200 years of our nation's existence the country has drawn strength and spirit from the different waves of new immigrants.  No other nation in the world allows even a fraction of the legal immigration routinely afforded by the United States.  However it is important that we recognize the importance of legal citizenship as it affects the rights and privileges for all of us.  This is increasingly important as the federal government struggles with meeting the trillions of dollars of national debt and unfunded entitlement programs. 

To help recognize and document the importance of citizenship for all Americans Futures America strongly supports the establishment of a National Identification Card and System for all Americans.  A recent study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) indicates the cost of supporting illegal immigrants in the United States is a staggering $113 billion a year -- an average of $1,117 for every legal citizen household in America.  Many national government assistance programs including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program or food stamps, among others, are in serious financial trouble and are dependent upon a reliable system for identifying who is eligible for benefits.  A national fail-safe identity card will assist with this and significantly reduce the billions of dollars lost each year due to fraud, waste, and abuse of the current system.  A National Identification Card will also make it much harder for certain American employers to hire undocumented aliens and assist in making many of the estimated 8.5 million jobs currently held by illegal aliens available to the over 17 million Americans that are either unemployed or under-employed. Its establishment will also make it much harder for those involved in illegal human trafficking, a situation that currently affects between 50,000 to 100,000 people each year in the United States and over 1 million globally.

Concerns about the potential abuse of a national identity document can and should be addressed through clear guidance on how and when the document will be used.  The majority of nations world-wide have national identity systems and requirements. Although America should develop its system to meet its own requirements and needs, much information is available on how best to implement or not implement a system.  The bottom line, as citizens of this great country, the establishment of a National Identity Document and System, if properly developed and implemented, will help rather than hinder access to our Constitutional rights and privileges.  People should be proud rather than afraid of being identified as Americans.

Futures America encourages all Americans to become informed about the benefits and concerns associated with the establishment of a National Identification Document and System.  Among many others, two opposing sources of this information are available online through the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) at www.fairus.org and www.aclu.org, respectively.

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