Give them an inch you know they’ll go a mile….
This little bill flew under the radar, didn’t it? While the Democrats deal with infighting and President-elect Donald Trump chooses his Cabinet, the House of Representatives quietly passed H.R. 4919, also known as Kevin and Avonte’s Law.
This law allows the attorney general to hand over money to local law enforcement agencies to develop human tracking devices:
The programs mission would to find “individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or children with developmental disabilities, such as autism, who have wandered from safe environments.”
Additionally, the bill would also require the attorney general to consult with the secretary of health and human services and other health organizations to come up with best practices for the tracking devices.
How about no?
The bill reauthorizes the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program, now allowing children with autism. A staffer familiar with the legislation told the Washington Free Beacon that Congress changed some wording in the bill. The patients will receive a “non-invasive and non-permanent tracking device” and remains voluntary.
They also promised no database. The attorney general decides who can receive the devices and which agencies receive the information.
Despite the changes, it remains a vague bill. It says voluntary, but how can that be the case if the devices are meant for people who have mental challenges? I know there are different scales and severity of autism and Alzheimer’s so how will they address this? It’s not exactly voluntary if the patient cannot consent to a tracking device.
I find it precious that Congress wrote that the attorney general will include procedures to “protect the civil rights and liberties of the individuals who use tracking devices, including their rights under the Fourth Amendment.”
So, um, about that. Isn’t forcing a tracking device on someone who does not have the mental capacity to say yes or no a violation of the Fourth Amendment? Isn’t having your movements tracked by the government an invasion of privacy? Doesn’t this mean that patients will have to surrender their medical history and information to the agencies? Will doctors have to break doctor/patient confidentiality?
Another thing. No database. No collecting of data. I call absolute BS on that one. This will give the federal government a list of those who have these mental challenges. The attorney general decides who will receive the devices so therefore the Department of Justice will know the extent of the person’s autism or Alzheimer’s. The fact is the government could find “problems” within this program and make amendments to justify a database and collection of information.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) has these same concerns:
“While this initiative may have noble intentions, ‘small and temporary’ programs in the name of safety and security often evolve into permanent and enlarged bureaucracies that infringe on the American people’s freedoms. That is exactly what we have here. A safety problem exists for people with Alzheimer’s, autism and other mental health issues, so the fix, we are told, is to have the Department of Justice, start a tracking program so we can use some device or method to track these individuals 24/7,” Gohmert said in his floor speech.
He later went on to say, “Sponsors of the bill tell us not to worry, because they got language in there that says the tracking device cannot be invasive, it is totally voluntary AND it is only a couple of million dollars to get it started –so it is not all that much money.”
Gohmert explained, “It is absolutely staggering that the Republican majorities in the House and Senate could be so blind to government overreach that they would allow a federal tracking program, not for criminals in the U.S., not for terrorists, not for illegal immigrants or even immigrants who commit crimes, but for people with ‘developmental disabilities’ a term that is subject to wide misinterpretation. The Senate Republican leaders even brought it to the floor with almost no one there and asked that the new Big Brother program be passed without even having a vote at all – someone just asks for ‘unanimous consent.’ Since no one is advised about the bill being brought up, no one who would object knows to be there, so it passes without anyone ever actually voting for it.”
Congress expanded the bill to include those with autism. Will they stop there? How about depression and anxiety? ADHD? ADD? Borderline Personality Disorder?
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