The Los Angeles Times reports that Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) favors requiring every eligible worker in America to obtain a “forgery-proof” worker identification (ID) card to show proof of ability to work. Schumer intends to lead the Senate’s effort at comprehensive immigration reform and also called the ID card “the best way to ensure that all workers are authorized to work” in the U.S. In his 2007 book, “Positively American,” Senator Schumer asserted that “the ID will make it easy for employers to avoid undocumented workers, which will allow for tough sanctions against employers who break the law, which will lead to no jobs being available for illegal immigrants, which will stop illegal immigration.” Senator Schumer also believes that, “once Americans are convinced that we will permanently staunch the flow of illegal immigration, they will be more willing to accept constructing a path toward earned citizenship for those who are already here.” While many business and community organizations also favor the idea of a worker ID card, labor activists and organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) fear violations of civil rights, possible intrusions into private lives, and the expense to workers.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce spokesman Angelo Amador argues that U.S. employers never truly know whether the identifications presented by workers now are genuine. Also, anyone presenting the new worker ID card would be assumed legally able to work, subject to confirmation by checking on a national database.