U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rolled out a new series of measures to enforce immigration law and prevent further illegal immigration in Arizona on Tuesday, including aggressive prosecution of identity theft.
Illegal aliens using fraudulent documents will be charged with aggravated identity theft, Sessions said. A memo issued to U.S. Attorneys’ offices also stated that prosecutors should seek charges for aggravated identity theft and the fraud or misuse of visas, permits, and other documents in such cases.
It is an important step towards controlling illegal immigration and crime overall: As the Center for Immigration Studies explained, illegals commit rampant identity theft and document fraud while residing in the U.S., wrecking lives and costing victims millions.
“Because it is virtually impossible to live and work in the United States without documents… millions… turn to fraudulent document dealers for falsified Social Security cards, forged drivers licenses, counterfeit green cards, and a wide range of other phony documents,” writes Ronald W. Mortensen in a report.
“Illegal alien driven identity theft is not a victimless crime,” Mortensen said. “It impacts millions of Americans of all ages. Newborn infants and children often are the victims of illegal alien identity thieves. IRS agents, law enforcement officials, people with disabilities, the unemployed, and even those serving time in jail have been victimized by illegal aliens using their SSNs in order to obtain jobs and other benefits.”
The consequences of identity theft can strike abruptly and destroy someone’s life in an instant. The report continued:
Millions of Americans either knowingly or unknowingly are sharing their SSNs with illegal aliens and are having their lives slowly usurped by the identity thieves. They will only learn of the damage done when they are denied credit, receive a notice for taxes on income they didn’t earn, are denied benefits that they are entitled to, find that their medical records have been corrupted with possibly life-threatening consequences, or when collection agencies start calling.
The time and effort required to repair the damage from illegal alien identity theft costs victims hundreds of millions of dollars and millions of hours, particularly in states riddled with significant illegal alien populations.
Illegal aliens in California will usually buy three fraudulent documents, a former ICE officer said: A counterfeit resident alien card or work authorization card, a counterfeit California driver’s license, and a counterfeit Social Security card. This costs only between $120 to $300.
Retired ICE Special-Agent-In-Charge Claude Arnold said during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly in December:
The demand is so great for counterfeit documents because the illegal alien population wants to work—that’s the majority of their motivation for wanting to come to this country. So there’s a huge demand for those documents that are required to pass the employment eligibility verification procedures. In every neighborhood where there’s a significant illegal alien population, there are at least several document vendors who supply this service.
Roughly a tenth of all the illegal aliens Arnold arrested over the course of his career freely admitted they voted in U.S. elections. The left hysterically attacked Trump for “losing” the popular vote—and went wild when Trump tweeted that he would have won this interesting but non-vital metric “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Reuters sneered that Trump’s “allegation” was “made without evidence,” but given there are well over ten million illegals living in the U.S., and millions are committing identity theft, it’s not inconceivable that significant numbers voted illegally as well.
Terrorists also commit identity fraud in order to carry out their plans, as NBC News reported in 2004:
Terrorism and identity theft go hand in hand, experts say. The al-Qaida training manual includes provisions for trainees to leave camp with five fake personas, says Collins, who uses a copy of the manual to train law enforcement officials. Terrorists are regularly schooled in the art of subsisting off credit card fraud while living in the United States, [identity theft expert Judith Collins] said…
The Sept. 11 hijackers, surprisingly, used their real names when boarding their flights that morning. That kept commissioners from focusing more specifically on ID theft, said commission spokesman Jonathan Stull — after all, its charge was to study what went wrong on Sept. 11. But the hijackers had liberally used document fraud prior to that date, some to ease entrance into the United States, others to move around once they were here and to obtain drivers’ licenses they needed to board the airplanes.
Mark Rasch, once head of the Justice Department’s Computer Crime unit and now a consultant with Solutionary Inc., said the fact that identity theft is as easy as it makes terrorism watch lists essentially useless.
Tolerating such mass lawlessness harms Americans and their communities, Sessions said during his press conference, and it’s the duty of the government to protect them.
“Why are we doing this? Because it is what the duly enacted laws of the United States require. I took an oath to protect this country from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” he said. “How else can we look the parents and loved ones of Kate Steinle, Grant Ronnebeck, and so many others in eye and say we are doing everything possible to prevent such tragedies from ever occurring again?”
Aggravated identity theft is a felony and punishable by up to two years in prison.