Identity Fraud Okay with USCIS – For Deferred Action Aliens

identy fraudSince Congress introduced the DREAM Act in 2001, countless thousands of words have been published about the high school students’ supposed outstanding character. Each of the hundreds of stories has emphasized that the so called DREAMers, generally age 16-30, are American in every way except they don’t hold citizenship. Having taught in California public school, I know that claim may be true—to an extent.

But earlier this month, we learned that many “childhood arrivals” are guilty of identity theft. Some deferred action applicants have multiple identity fraud incidents in their histories. In the criminal world, stealing or fabricating social security numbers and applying them to a new name is known as synthetic identity fraud—basically creating a new person.

According to a Washington Post September 13 story, dozens of illegal alien applicants were hesitant to submit their paperwork to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) since they feared that as part of the process their long histories of identity fraud and theft would be revealed. Crystal Williams, executive director for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, pleaded that she hoped that: “there would be some understanding on the part of the government that, yes, this [identity fraud] is a necessary part of living in the shadows.”

You may need a few minutes to let the magnitude of Williams’ outrageous statement set in. Williams, one of the nation’s most prominent lawyers albeit one with a strong pro-open borders agenda, lobbied for disregarding a crime (identity theft) when its perpetrated on top of an already existing crime (illegal entry) and also when it facilitates an alien’s ability to receive work authorization.

The ACLU‘s wish is the USCIS’s command! Within a day after the ACLU issued its request, USCIS wrote new, more alien friendly regulations. Originally, question 9 on the I-765 application for work authorization asked that all social security numbers ever used be listed. Then, after the ACLU interceded, USCIS adjusted its inquiry to read: “list those Social Security numbers that were officially issued to you by the Social Security Administration.”

“Officially issued” social security numbers are given only to native-born citizens and legal immigrants. Obviously, a deferred action candidate would be leery about confessing his identity fraud by detailing the phony numbers he’s relied on for years. By changing its language, USCIS has opened up a huge loophole for identity fraud perpetrators. The government doesn’t want to know about identity theft, at least not when aliens commit it. By changing a few words, the entire subject can be avoided.

Allan Wernick, another immigration lawyer who writes a widely read column in the New York Daily News offered this advice. From Wernick’s column: “If you used a friend’s number, a made-up number or a stolen number, you should answer N/A for ‘not applicable’ where it asks for the number.”

As disappointing as it is, the only conclusion to draw from USCIS blatantly ignoring identity fraud and the immigration lawyers’ lobby’s defense of the government’s revised policy is that anything goes when the objective is to advance illegal immigrants’ agendas.

On the Department of Justice’s website, identity fraud is unequivocally identified as “a crime.” The luckiest victims escape with damaged credit and countless lost hours trying to correct their files. The most unlucky suffer the same adverse credit and wasted time consequences plus potentially thousands of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2011, the costs associated with identity theft passed $1.5 billion.

None of that matters to the White House. Ethnic identity politics, an engrained part of life on Capitol Hill, is too far advanced under this administration to apply the brakes now.

©2012 Joe Guzzardi and – Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. This column distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Contact Joe at This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.

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