I know when I travel to Asia, South America, or Europe, I need to present my passport at all hotels I stay at. When I worked in Belgium, Chile and China, I had to register with the Government and provide the local police station with my information - and inform them if I moved to a new apartment/house. In the US, I don't think that tourists need to provide their passports at hotels, nor do visa holders need to register with the local police station. So - how is what is proposed much different than 90% of the rest of the world?
It may not be terribly different than what you describe, but you're forgetting one thing: The US Government has a bad habit of coloring outside the lines.