Immigration bill calls for federal employment photo database

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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Hidden within the 867-page Senate immigration reform bill is a mandate for the creation of a federal biometric database under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security, Wired reported Friday.

The bill would mandate the development and maintenance of a federal photo database “that enables employers to match the photo on a covered identity document provided to the employer” to a photo in that database.

A covered identity document includes a valid U.S. passport or passport card, a legal drivers license, or any other document representing legal residency and employment status.

The database would be maintained by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Homeland Security.

The “photo tool” database would be one of several databases integrated into a larger identification system maintained by Homeland Security.

The bill is scheduled for further debate on Tuesday.

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