APRIL 06, 2006
It has taken U.S. government officials nearly five years since the brutal terrorist attacks to finally create a task force to crack down on fraudulent immigration documents, which have caused widespread security lapses in the nation’s immigration system.
Fraudulent documents have enabled illegal immigrants and even terrorists to remain in the U.S. for years. They include fake driver’s licenses, birth certificates, passports, green cards and work visas. At least seven of the September 11, 2001 hijackers obtained genuine Virginia driver’s licenses and other identity documents by submitting fraudulent residency certificates. The resulting identification cards allowed them to clear airport security and board planes used in the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.
In a case of better-late-than-never, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced the creation this week of a task force to combat finally the growing problems of immigration document fraud. The task force will operate in 10 major U.S. cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and Denver.
The program is long overdue. Just last month, authorities in Los Angeles raided a crime ring that sold fake immigration documents at seven different locations. Authorities seized sophisticated equipment used to make green cards, Social Security cards and California driver’s licenses. Fourteen people have been charged, nine of them illegal immigrants from Mexico.
This week in Florida, more than 2,500 driver’s licenses issued to foreigners were revoked because fraudulent documents were used to obtain them. The documents and licenses are used mainly to obtain employment or government benefits.
Immigration or Invasion points out that an authorized government agency, rather than employers, should check employees’ ID and legal status and that the government should invest money into punishing employers who use cheap labor to increase profits.
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