Q&A of the Day – Is there a national database of US Citizens?
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1
Wouldn’t citizens or naturalized legal residents be on record in some database somewhere? Probably not the location where they’re currently living though
Bottom Line:With the legal vs illegal immigration debate continuing to be center stage as a key issue – this is a great question. Is there a single database with all legal citizens in the United States? The answer is no. The closest we have is the Social Security Administration. Every US Citizen is issued a Social Security number, but it has to be applied for by parents. We’re not aware how many legal children are in the US without a Social Security number/account being established. Most children likely are accounted for early on due to the federal tax code. Parents can’t take advantage of federal breaks like child tax credits and deductions without a registered Social Security number but still, it’s likely many fall through the cracks for a myriad of reasons.
Aside from conspiratorial ideas there isn’t a single national database that tracks everyone and everything. It would be possible to get a closer, more accurate read if there were a national database that pulled all birth records from states across the country and tracked all death certificates as well. In fact, if that happened, it’d probably help abuse of stolen Social Security numbers and benefits for those who’re deceased. I’m not sure how many of us would necessarily appreciate the trade off of the additional information tracking of us by the federal government, however.
Our country was setup on the notion that you’ll provide documentation (or your guardian(s) demonstrating you’re a citizen, rather than the federal government tracking you from birth. The implications of reversing that process could include more than we’ve considered. It’s not a path I’m interested in traveling down at this time.