To the Editor:

The move by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), to forge a comprehensive immigration-reform compromise is laudable, but their push for a national biometric worker-identification card is misguided, impractical and conflicts with core American values of privacy and liberty ("ID Card for Workers Is at Center of Immigration Plan," U.S. News, March 9).

Their plan would force everyone seeking a job to obtain an ID card containing a photo and biometric data, such as fingerprints or scans of veins in their hands.

Both Republicans and Democrats have opposed a national ID system. President Reagan likened a 1981 proposal to the biblical "mark of the beast," and President Clinton dismissed a similar plan for smacking of Big Brotherism.

Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to protecting all of our rights and liberties. It must not be a Trojan horse that allows the government to electronically track our daily activities.

Udi Ofer
Advocacy Director, New York Civil Liberties Union