THE UNITED STATES has invested tens of billions of dollars in the past decade alone to foil illegal immigration — tightening the border, accelerating deportations, deputizing local police — while doing precious little to stop employers from hiring undocumented immigrants.
That is fixable — by means of a universal national identity card — and must be fixed as part of any sensible overhaul of the nation’s immigration system.
An effective solution would be to issue tamper-proof, biometric ID cards — using fingerprints or a comparably unique identifier — to all citizens and legal residents. Last week, both President Obama and a bipartisan group of eight senators seeking immigration reform urged something along those lines, without calling it a universal national identity card. That’s a major step forward.