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Proposal to Implant RFID Chips in Immigrants 559

Posted by Zonk
from the goes-over-like-a-ton-of-bricks dept.
John3 writes "Some people are OK with voluntarily implanting themselves with RFID chips, but how about making RFID implantation mandatory for immigrant and guest workers? VeriChip Corporation chairman Scott Silverman has proposed implanting RFID chips to register workers as they cross the border. According to Silverman, 'We have talked to many people in Washington about using it...' Privacy advocates see this move by VeriChip as a way to introduce their product to Latin America after a lukewarm reception in North America. Would immigrant workers trade their privacy for the opportunity to work in the U.S.? If this type of tracking is enacted, how long before the government decides to start tracking others for various purposes (for example, pedophiles who are released from prison)?"
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Proposal to Implant RFID Chips in Immigrants

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  • Business as usual (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FooHentai (624583) on Friday June 02, 2006 @01:39PM (#15455723) Homepage
    This isn't such a surprising strategy. If you can convince the masses to do something to the least favoured members of society, then you can start to gradually argue the case for doing it to everyone.

    All they had to find was the lowest rung on the ladder of american society.

    Surprised they didn't go with pedophiles TBH. It's probably because they were already on with the immigrant thing.
  • by thewldisntenuff (778302) on Friday June 02, 2006 @01:43PM (#15455774) Homepage
    If you think it's bad now, it's only the tip of the iceberg...

    A few states have already begun tracking pedophiles via GPS - see this Fox News story [foxnews.com] about it.

    FTFA -
    "Many states are initiating programs that track registered sex offenders using Global Positioning Satellites, or GPS, sometimes for life. GPS can track the exact location of the offenders at all times, making it easier for law enforcement to ensure that they're abiding with the terms of their release.

    It sounds like an efficient system: Authorities can keep track of dangerous sex offenders without having to keep them in prison at taxpayers' expense."

    While I'm not defeding pedophiles (surely it's painted that way - "If you don't want GPS on pedos, then you're with them!"), where do we go next? GPS tracking for drug offenses? DUI? And what happens when people can track these GPS recievers? Scary stuff - what ever happened to paying your debt to society once you got out of jail?

  • Stealing Chips (Score:2, Interesting)

    by archer, the (887288) on Friday June 02, 2006 @01:44PM (#15455781)
    How long until someone kidnaps chipped people to steal the chips? Implant stolen chips for the highest bidder.
  • Re:Yay! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by falcon8080 (975701) on Friday June 02, 2006 @02:28PM (#15456291) Homepage
    You know whats scary?
    Im an immigrant, I moved here legally, from the UK, ive paid thousands of dollars just to be here, i contribute a lot of money to the US economy and employee a number of US workers... and for my efforts to play by the rules, to hand over money for fees, to wait and wait and wait patiently on different sides of the atlantic, and to fill in god knows how many forms and pay more fees.. I get the opportunity to be chipped.

    Thanks for that, next youll be telling me I could have brought a cheap plane ticket, stayed here past my visa experation and payed less in fines than the fees i paid and granted would have been granted 'amnesty'... oh, wait..
  • by j2crux (969051) on Friday June 02, 2006 @02:32PM (#15456325)
    What's stopping the person from just pulling the chip out?
    I know it's probably pretty far in your $LIMB but still, if it means you can stay the US, "a little bit of pain never hurt anyone."
  • Re:A Cautionary Tale (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Friday June 02, 2006 @02:33PM (#15456337) Homepage
    Interesting take. I think you point about people removing the chips is an excellent one. If having a chip identifies you as a previous sneak-in, then why not just remove it? If you are willing to run through a border and a desert to get into the US, you may be willing to do that too. About the only solution would be to put it where it can't be easily removed (like in someone's pelvis) but that would be a major operation compared to the quick prick putting it in their arm would be.

    About the only Mexican side of this debate you hear on US TV is from the illegal immigrants already hear and people on the other side of the border (the Mexican side) who are worried it will become harder to cross.

    That said, you have presented an opportunity that I can't pass up to ask you a question. What do you think about the Mexican government's role in this immigration debate? Specifically it seems to me they are the problem. We don't have Canadians flooding into the country because Canada is very good shape.

    From everything I've heard Mexico has some serious problems in this area. My understanding is that 10% of Mexican citizens are living in the US (either legally or not). 12% of the Mexican work force is working in the US (again, legally or not). I have heard estimations that if flow of money from workers and families in the US to their relatives back home in Mexico were to be stopped, the Mexican economy would collapse. According to the figures I can find the underemployment/unemployment rate in Mexico is as high as 25%.

    Do Mexicans blame their government for all this? Is there anything of a movement to get it fixed, or is it just easier to try to get the US government to help by taking on people?

    Of course, Bush can't say any of this because we have to try to keep relations with Mexico good. Why the media doesn't mention this more would surprise me if I didn't think them all so crooked.

    What do you think of the "Pay backed taxes, a fine, and prove you know English and you can become a citizen" proposal? Obviously that is somewhat simplified.

    My last question is, does the issue of illegal immigration strike you as ironic at all? There are so many people (and groups, which I don't understand) that are pushing for (illegal) immigrant rights in the US and saying they should be treated like citizens. But illegal immigrants into Mexico from South and Central America face robbing, beatings, rapes, and other terrible fates from Mexican officials if they are caught. Mexico is not kind to those who sneak in, yet the President of the country is asking the US to be kind to those who sneak in. Is that issue raised at all in the Mexican media?

    I don't mean to offend you, I've never heard answers to these questions and I am genuinely curious. I'll be glad to answer anything I can for you with my opinions.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @03:33PM (#15456967)
    Immigration in the United States is one of the most confused topics I have ever seen.

    I was working there for a few years as a legal resident and all I can say is that people there have a hole in their head when it comes to immigration.

    The real problem with immigration in that country is that the legal system is a complete f**ked up mess. That can't be overstated. It needs massive reform and most likely investment. RFID is an assinine idea that has nothing to do with the core problem.

    When I was a legal resident, I would be happy to have the INS (or Home Land Security) verify where I was working, where I lived, or all sorts of things. This is normal practice in many countries and is reasonable. But they are generally too incompetent to have any coherent view of legal immigration period. (I don't fault them -- generally the laws, procedures, etc. are written by an even worse Congress.) How in God's name is implanting RFID's going to help?

    As for illegal immigration, it should not exist. It is a second class citizen. Americans tolerant illegals but then do not let them have full access to the same jobs, same legal protections, and everything else that they enjoy. It isn't slavery, but it is a separate and unequal legal system for not-quite-real-Americans. It is immoral and profoundly wrong.

    One of the first steps is very clear. It isn't securing the border -- that's fighting the supply -- but preventing their employment and deporting them. The border will take care of themselves and the border guards will be able to focus on genuine issues.

    A combination of massive reform of legal immigration -- this is the FIRST step of reform -- followed by an opening of legal immigration (so that it is less painful for the unskilled illegals) along with a strict enforcement of the laws that Americans otherwise cherish.

    RFIDs have almost nothing to do with it.

    Mark
  • Re:A Cautionary Tale (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alos (906618) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:56PM (#15457823)
    What do you think about the Mexican government's role in this immigration debate?
    I believe Fox's opinions in this matter (if he even has some) are irrelevant. There is only so much a president can do affect an other's countries decisions.
    From everything I've heard Mexico has some serious problems in this area. My understanding is that 10% of Mexican citizens are living in the US (either legally or not). 12% of the Mexican work force is working in the US (again, legally or not). I have heard estimations that if flow of money from workers and families in the US to their relatives back home in Mexico were to be stopped, the Mexican economy would collapse. According to the figures I can find the underemployment/unemployment rate in Mexico is as high as 25%.
    Correct.
    Do Mexicans blame their government for all this?
    You bet!
    Is there anything of a movement to get it fixed, or is it just easier to try to get the US government to help by taking on people?
    Things seam to be getting better, but with elections coming soon, the government tries to keep a low profile and stops discussing important topics like economy, immigration, etc.
    What do you think of the Pay backed taxes, a fine, and prove you know English and you can become a citizen" proposal?
    The US needs the immigrants' work force, as much as the immigrants need their money.
    Mexico is not kind to those who sneak in, yet the President of the country is asking the US to be kind to those who sneak in.
    Illegal immigrants into Mexico from South and Central America: rob, beat, rape, and do other terrible things unlike the majority of the immigrants in the US witch usually try to live honest lives.
  • Re:Yay! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by pcgc1xn (922943) on Friday June 02, 2006 @05:29PM (#15458098) Homepage

    The fundamental point is that immigrants come to them because there is a DEMAND for them. Those illegal workers do work that Americans don't want to do for the wages which are required to support the prices they want to pay. Don't want illegal immigrants working on farms? Expect to pay more for your groceries. Don't want legal immigrants? Be prepared to live with a lower standard of living. Is Finland such a hellhole that Linus had no option to feed his family than to come to the US? I doubt it. Someone decided that he had skills they thought would add value to the US economy.

    If you don't want immigrants, fine, that is the choice of the citizens, but remember, be careful what you wish for.

  • Re:Yay! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Friday June 02, 2006 @06:59PM (#15458711) Homepage
    I know my opinions on Illegal Immigration won't win me any mod points, but I don't care.

    Heh.

    I recently discovered that Slashdot has an automated script in place that temporarily bans your IP range if the ratio of up-mods to down-mods on your posts drops below a certain threshold.

    Allegedly intended to reduce trolling, I found that it also tended to reduce dissenting opinions.

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