One document ring busted- God knows how many more thousands to go!
The news report I have attached below was published in yesterday’s edition of the Virginia Pilot and was sent to me by a good friend, Bruce DeCell, a former New York City police officer and a founding member of 9/11 Families for a Secure America (9/11 FSA).
As you probably know, 9/11 FSA was founded by the relatives of some of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. On that terrible day, Bruce’s young son-in-law was one of the many slaughtered at the World Trade Center. Most of the terrorists involved in that vicious attack managed to hide in plain sight by using improperly issued official identity documents as well as by using false identity documents.
The findings of the 9/11 Commission, in fact, determined that the 19 terrorists used dozens of false identities and variations of their true identities in furtherance of their terrorist objectives, paving the way for the Real ID Act.
The news article reports on the success of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in an investigative effort that involved the infiltration of a criminal organization that specialized in cranking out false identity documents. According to the article three suspects have been arrested and charged and all three are identified as being illegal aliens. The article did not report on the nationalities of the defendants but it is to be presumed that they are citizens of a Latin American country.
According to the article, for just $150.00 a person could create a brand new identity for himself (herself). The article makes the point that these documents would enable an illegal alien to seek employment in the United States. This use of such false identity documents, in and of itself, certainly represents a crime. However, while the article failed to mention it, I will. The use of false identity documents in order to establish a phony identity is also a tactic that is used by criminals and terrorists.
One of the first things a law enforcement officer does when he arrests a suspect is to fingerprint that suspect in an effort to determine the identity of the person he has in custody.
Often job applicants are fingerprinted, especially if the prospective employee is to be bonded or work in an area that involves sensitive issues. Anyone who holds a security clearance is required to be fingerprinted to ascertain the identity of the employee to whom sensitive information may be provided.
To a criminal or terrorist, the truthful answer to one of the most commonly asked questions, “Who are you?” could uncover their malevolent intentions and unravel a criminal enterprise or terrorist attack. The use of false identity documents should be thought of as camouflage that conceals the identity and, potentially, the intentions of the person using the false documents.
I have seen “rap sheets” (arrest records) that required extension sheets just to deal with the myriad false identities used by some of the criminals I have investigated and/or arrested as an INS special agent!
Yet the title of the article simply addresses the use of false identity documents by “illegal immigrants.”
I have been hammering the issue of immigration fraud ever since I decided to go public with my insights and perspectives acquired during my 30 years with the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service). Fraud can be thought of as taking two forms- the manufacture of false or altered identity documents- as was the case in the news report attached below. The other form of fraud involves schemes by which aliens are provided with lawful status or even United States citizenship by concealing material facts that would, if known, disqualify that alien from receiving immigration benefits. In some cases, the scheme involves marriage fraud, labor certification fraud or political asylum fraud. In addition to these tactics being used to acquire lawful status in the United States, these tactics can and have been used to secure visas from U.S. consular officials at American consulates and embassies in foreign countries.
All of these efforts to produce counterfeit or altered documents or defraud the immigration system or the visa issuance program create a true nightmare for our nation and literally open the door to the entry and embedding of criminals and terrorists in addition to those illegal aliens whose goals are limited to securing illegal employment.
On May 18, 2004 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Border Security and Claims, at the behest of contacted by the then Ranking Democrat on that subcommittee, Sheila Jackson Lee. The subject of that hearing was:
“PUSHING THE BORDER OUT ON ALIEN SMUGGLING: NEW TOOLS AND INTELLIGENCE INITIATIVES”
You can read the transcript of that hearing in its entirety at: http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/judiciary/hju93716.000/hju93716_0f.htm
The hearing focused on the issue of “traditional” alien smuggling in which aliens are assisted in running our nation’s borders as well as the issue of visa fraud and immigration benefit fraud. Through discussions with the counsel to Representative Jackson Lee, I was able to convince him and, consequently her, that it was as important to address the issue of fraud as it is to attack alien smuggling (human trafficking). Ms Jackson Lee decided to draft legislation to create a fraud task force. Consequently I am certainly happy to see successes in combating those who would provide false identity documents but in the interest of clarity it is important to understand that these documents can be used for far more nefarious purposes than simply facilitating the employment of illegal aliens in the United States. It is also important to understand that these sorts of false documents were a real problem when our government naively implemented the amnesty of 1986.
Back then false rent receipts, pay stubs and other such “supporting documents” were cranked out at “warp speed” with the then crude tools available to such document mills that were purchased by aliens who sought to substantiate false claims to having resided in the United States for the requisite period of time in order to qualify to apply for amnesty. The fraud rate back then, was astronomical and today, with sophisticated desktop publishing available for relatively low costs, these document mills would easily provide millions of illegal aliens with credible looking supporting documents that illegal aliens would, no doubt use to defraud the immigration system if our government is sufficiently inept and corrupt to enact another amnesty under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.” In conjunction with the investigations conducted by the 9/11 Commission, 94 terrorists were identified as having operated in our country in the decade leading up to the attacks of September 11, 2001. Of those 94 individuals, 59 were determined to have used immigration fraud as a means of entering the United States and/or embedding themselves in communities around the United States.
The creation and use of false identity documents represents no less than a threat to national security. It is incomprehensible and unforgivable that there are but a mere handful of special agents at ICE who are dedicated to uncovering these fraud rings and putting them out of business. It is also hard to comprehend how a news report on such a document ring would fail to consider how such false identity documents represent a huge threat to the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens.
My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.
The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.
Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!
If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same.
Later this year, each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection. Later this year more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!
However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there. The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!
The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. I implore you to get involved!
Any American who has lost his job certainly has enough time on his (her) hands to get involved!
Any American who fears the loss of his job must make effective use of his spare time to make certain he keeps his job! (Remember, the job save may be your own!) If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation! You need to politely but pointedly, demand to know what they are doing to protect our nation. You need to ask them how they are protecting you and your families. You can also forward this commentary to them and ask them to watch the 60 Minutes report that served as the basis for my commentary. All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are! We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue! You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem! Democracy is not a spectator sport! Lead, follow or get out of the way!