WASHINGTON – U.S. Social Security (search) cards won't be worth the paper they're printed on if California Rep. David Dreier (search) has his way. He is sponsoring a bill that would replace the old paper card with one that is more like a credit card.
The card would basically have a photo embedded on it, and it would have an algorithm strip on the back that would outlines someone's status in this country — whether he or she is an American citizen, living here on a visa or work permit or any other status, Dreier, a Republican, said.
Dreier said he supports the system because he believes an unforgeable Social Security card will stem the flow of illegal aliens to this country and will eventually force those already in the country illegally to return home. It would also mean that legal residents would have to endure the agony of a trip to the Social Security Administration (search) to get a new card before changing jobs. But Dreier said he believes ending document fraud is important to national security.
"Mohamed Atta (search), who flew one of the planes into the World Trade Center, had a valid driver's license, and he was pulled over and he was told to appear in court after 9/11. So, this issue of document fraud is a serious one and I think that the American people are going to understand," Dreier said.
Dreier's bill might end up attached to a larger immigration reform bill (search) being pushed by Rep. James Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Sensenbrenner has pushed for legislation that would make states conform to tougher standards when issuing driver's licenses.
"American citizens have the right to know who is in their country, that people are who they say they are, and that the name on a driver's license is the holder's real name, not some alias," Sensenbrenner said during the intelligence reform bill debate in November.
House leaders promised Sensenbrenner his measure will be attached to the first piece of must-pass legislation since it was stripped from the intelligence reform bill that passed against Sensenbrenner's wishes.
Both Dreier and Sensenbrenner insist their respective proposals will not produce anything that could be considered a national identification card (search). The proposed Social Security card would even be inscribed with the words, "This is not a national ID card."
Click in the box near the top of the story to watch a report by FOX News' Brian Wilson.