The Home office opened applications for the controversial new Identity Cards yesterday (27th November). All foreign nationals will have to apply for the mandatory scheme. The first cards will be issued to foreign nationals either applying to stay in the UK as students or those who are married to a British national.
Over the next 3 weeks enrollment centers will open in Cardiff, Glasgow and Liverpool as well as Northern Ireland, Sheffield and Solihill. Whether or not a foreign national will be granted the right to stay depends on an “Australian-style points system”. Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith said; “The Australian-style points system will ensure only those we need – and no more – can come here. It is also flexible, allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of business and taking population trends into account.”
Tim Cowen, Director of communications at NPC services said; “Employers will, quite rightly, still need to make sure their systems for spotting forgeries are robust, but the biometric cards will cut down on fraud and make it easier for us to do this…Crucially, it will also help those who genuinely have the right to work in the UK get employment quickly – since it will be easier to check their identity and get them working.”
Protesters have been speaking out about the proposed national identity database and have been claiming that the new cards are the “thin end of the wedge” since the law enabling the scheme was first passed in 2006.
Originally billed as an anti-terrorism tool, after two years of this idea being ridiculed by protesters, the focus of today’s press release is personal identity safety. Jacquie Smith says; “”Issuing ID cards to overseas students should assist in the reduction of identity fraud”. Though many protesters believe that fake cards will be available illegally within days.
There have been may claims that the I.D cards will erode civil liberties, One anti-ID card post on Yahoo! Answers said; “The only purpose for issuing ID cards is for control of the people. Nothing else”.
Plans are for all foreign nationals resident in the UK who are either moving to the U.K or applying for their stay to be extended to have a card in the next 3 years.