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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Modern technology poses possible solution to determine US citizenship

    Technology is all around us. Engineers recently developed the world’s fastest camera that snaps images at 36.7 million frames per second, in order to distinguish hidden cancer cells. A group of researchers from South Korea invented the 4D movie, where images pop out at viewers, smells engulf the senses and every action-packed scene wobbles the theater chair. Smartphone apps such as Find-my-iPhone, ring on command when lost between couch cushions or self-destructs personal data when it falls into the wrong hands. Technology is a beautiful tool.

    An article written by Bill Keller of the New York Times divulges a possible solution to determining citizenship by way of modern technology.

    “Papers please” rolls off the tongue, but for many who are of a certain color, speak a certain accent or drive with a certain license plate, it chokes them from living fearless in our country.

    Arizona’s immigration bill, SB 1070, showcases our desperate need of a solution to discourage illegal immigration and encourage legal entry. So far, we still don’t have all our ducks in a row and a better proposition is needed.

    In Keller’s article, he imagines that our country, being the technology-junkies we are, could create an ID that would identify legal citizens of the United States, while also maintaining their right to privacy.

    He says it would only apply to future hires, as to avoid forcing employees to be part of a national witch hunt, since government control of such information would make those who believe in Big Brother even more paranoid. It would simply be a single-purpose document that an employer could swipe and instantly verify one’s citizenship status.

    “You might start with a Social Security card. You would issue a plastic version, and in it you would embed a chip containing biometric information: a fingerprint, an eye scan or a digital photo. The employer would swipe the card and match it to the real you.” he writes.

    The compilation of biometric information is nothing out of the ordinary.

    “The Government Printing Office already embeds biometric information in passports — 75 million of them so far — and a slew of other documents, such as border-crossing smart cards for Americans who commute to Mexico or Canada, and security passes for the F.B.I. And one major employer is already rolling out a system of biometric IDs for all its millions of workers and contractors: the federal government.” Keller says.

    The biggest question is the way in which our nation would persuade every individual to actually show up to a government office to record their biometric information. Too much work for the average American?

    It would take years for a nation of 300 billion to register for this type of card.

    The only way people are actually going to take time to register for a national ID card is if the stakes are high for being caught without it. As sad as that is, official laws and enforcement are what is necessary for people to take the laws of our land seriously.

    And if time is not a factor, money will surely be. Maybe society’s top number-crunchers can determine if the money spent on such a technology equates to the amount of time saved by ending the illegal immigration banter.

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