"In the wake of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, renewed debate has arisen regarding the efficacy and legal implications of a national identification card, a form of identification that would be something more comprehensive than a driver's license, a Social Security card or a passport. Such debate has centered on finding the appropriate balance between maintaining personal freedom and protecting national security. Proponents contend that a card using "biometric" surveillance technologies such as electronic retinal scans or fingerprints could help reduce and/or track illegal immigrants or potential terrorists. Conversely, opponents assert that such a card could infringe upon civil liberties with minimal impact on reducing terrorism. This report will briefly summarize the policy arguments related to and legal implications of a national identification card. The report will be updated as developments warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RS21137