Hi Blog. Here’s another brick in the wall, alas. The UK is also proposing the introduction of Gaijin Cards. Just when you thought you could point to other countries and say, “Look, they don’t do something like this, so let’s not do it here,” they go ahead and do it too. Sigh.
It’s not absolutely the same system at this point — not all foreigners have to get this card. Yet. But I like how the counterarguments to the scheme are similar to ones I’ve made in the past — about how guinea-pigging a segment of the population is the thin edge of the wedge to introducing the scheme for everyone. And no mention as yet in this article as to whether it’ll be a criminal offense, warranting arrest and interrogation after instant street spot checks, if you are not carrying the card on your person 24-7. Meanwhile, let’s wait and see what Japan does with its long-announced intention to Gaijin Chip all NJ with new improved RFID. In the club of developed countries, I don’t think Japan will be outdone in its policing of its foreigners.
Two more links of interest related to this topic.
Arudou Debito in Sapporo
Foreign national ID card unveiled
The first identity cards from the government’s controversial national scheme are due to be revealed.
BBC News. Page last updated at 07:14 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 08:14 UK
The biometric card will be issued from November, initially to non-EU students and marriage visa holders.
The design – containing a picture and digitally-stored fingerprints – is a precursor to the proposed national identity card scheme.
Critics say the roll-out to some immigrants is a “softening up” exercise to win over a sceptical general public.
The card, to be unveiled by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, will also include information on holders’ immigration status.
The Border and Immigration Agency will begin issuing the biometric cards to the two categories of foreign nationals who officials say are most at risk of abusing immigration rules – students and those on a marriage or civil partnership visa.
Both types of migrants will be told they must have the new card when they ask to extend their stay in the country.
The cards partly replace a paper-based system of immigration stamps – but will now include the individual’s name and picture, their nationality, immigration status and two fingerprints.
Immigration officials will store the details centrally and, in time, they are expected to be merged into the proposed national identity register.
The card cannot be issued to people from most parts of Europe because they have the right to move freely in and out of the UK.
Ministers say the cards will combat illegal immigration and working because officials, employers and educational establishments will be able to check a migrant’s entitlements more easily.
The Conservatives say they support modern biometric cards for immigrants – but they say a national identity register remains unworkable.
Phil Booth, head of the national No2ID campaign group, attacked the roll-out of the cards as a “softening-up exercise”.
“The Home Office is trying to salami slice the population to get this scheme going in any way they can,” Mr Booth told the BBC.
“Once they get some people to take the card it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
“The volume of foreign nationals involved is minuscule so it won’t do anything to tackle illegal immigration.
“They’ve basically picked on a group of people who have no possibility of objecting to the card – they either comply or they are out.”