While something must be done about the ridiculousness of our current flimsy paper social security cards (I’m not even sure most people know where their cards are), it’s also scary to some people to think of a “national Identity card.” (For some biblical scholars, a national Identity Card would be a confirmation of things forecasted in the book of Revelations in the bible.)
There’s no question that the social security administration’s system is, at best, outdated, and that it poses a large threat to the future welfare of our great country.
But the solution must be bigger than requiring better Identity cards.
Read below to see the legislation put forward by Mark Steven Kirk, a representative from Illinois.
HON. MARK STEVEN KIRK of Illinois in the House Of Representatives
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Mr. KIRK. Madam Speaker, today, along with my colleague Mr. Roskam, I am introducing legislation requiring the Social Security Administration to develop secure Social Security cards to combat the rising problem of identity theft and immigration fraud.
Since Social Security started in 1935, more than 450 million Social Security cards have been issued. Over the years, we’ve had 50 card variations, but all have one common element–they are too easy to counterfeit.
According to a 2005 Government Accountability Office report, employers reported the use of 1.4 million Social Security numbers that don’t exist. Additionally, nearly 1.7 million numbers have been used by multiple individuals, some as many as 500 times or more.
In 2006, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials made 1,272 arrests for identity and benefit fraud. While there is no central database for confiscated fraudulent Social Security card statistics, regional illegal document rings illustrate a systemic problem.
Last April, Federal agents arrested 23 individuals and broke up an illegal document ring in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago. Officials estimated that up to 100 fake Social Security cards were issued each day at the location. According to the Northern Illinois U.S. Attorney’s Office, the enterprise netted $3 million per year for a violent Mexico-based crime syndicate.
ICE broke up a similar ring in the same neighborhood in December 2005. Last October, Cook County Sheriff’s detectives arrested two individuals for manufacturing hundreds of fake identification documents in Chicago’s West Lawn neighborhood. Outside of the Chicago area, one ICE raid in Washington, DC, netted 880 fake Social Security cards.
In Waukegan, police raids discovered numerous crimes of identity theft, including criminals purchasing homes and cars with stolen Social Security numbers. For as little as $100, an individual in Waukegan can purchase a fake Social Security card.
It’s time we upgrade Social Security cards with photos and biometric data like a fingerprint to protect seniors from identity theft and prevent draining of Social Security trust funds.
Many government agencies already use secure IDs, including the Department of Defense. An ID with a bar code embedded with biometric data, as well as a picture, will help prevent counterfeiting. We have the technology now–there is no excuse to use a document that anyone can forge at a Kinkos.
To protect seniors, fight identity theft and defend our homeland, I urge my colleagues to join this effort.
What do you think the solution is to this growing and pervasive issue?
Should we all be required to carry national ID cards with biometrics identification in their very design?
Should the social security administration be required to overhaul their systems?
Should employers be required to have stricter policies when checking Identities of new employees?
Do you have a suggestion that would fix this system?
(Or just a complaint about how it’s currently working/not working?)
Voice your thoughts using the comments below.
NDM ADM commented below with these videos…)
here is a video on it….
An even creepier video on it is here