A group affiliated with former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) criticized Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Thursday for voting against an immigration bill amendment proposed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Paul's Protect Our Privacy Act would have prohibited the federal government from creating a national identification card or compiling biometric databases on Americans.
"We cannot become a 'papers please' society," said Campaign for Liberty's president, John Tate, according to the Sunshine State News. "The fact that Senator Rubio stood with [Senate Majority] Leader [Harry] Reid to support a National ID system, complete with a database containing the picture and other biometric information of U.S. citizens, should cause all Floridians to seriously question his conservative credentials."
Although the immigration reform bill that was released does not include a national identification database, many people fear the potential for abuse in the bill's proposed expansion of E-Verify, especially in the wake of other government surveillance revelations. An electronic employee verification system, E-Verify would also be enhanced with photo-matching elements.
As a member of the "gang of eight" senators, Rubio negotiated a comprehensive immigration bill that offers a path to citizenship for some of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. His support of the bipartisan legislation has been controversial among conservative Republicans, with many saying he should walk away from the reform bill. Recently, Rubio has appeared to respond to the criticism by calling for changes to the bill, specifically to strengthen its border security measures.