AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

Identity Theft

Identity theft in American society has reached epidemic proportions. No one believes for one moment that it is ONLY illegal aliens who participate in this devastating crime, but the fact is that thousands upon thousands of them do exactly that. In fact, unless an illegal alien can find work for cash under the table on a regular basis, those actually employed regularly must have illegal documentation…because they don’t qualify for legal:

Although one’s first reaction might be one of sympathy, consider that this is in no way a victimless crime…the key word here being crime. Those people coming into this country illegally do so with intent to defraud our system with malice aforethought, so they are no less guilty than the American citizen who decides to go out and sell drugs, or mug someone, or break into a home to feed his family, perhaps even out of desperation…they have chosen to commit a crime and must be held accountable. Where is the sympathy for the victim in all this, and why should there be a double standard?

The following links are to videos of a cross section of such victims, and very enlightening:

Here we see that our soldiers overseas, and their families, can be particularly vulnerable to this potentially devastating crime.

What of those who steal a stranger’s identity and then proceed to commit another crime? One of the compelling reasons to identify illegal aliens who commit a crime (i.e. 287g program) is because, if released on bond, they are more often than not lost in the wind, assuming another identity. But what happens to those whose identity they have assumed?

We are asked to sympathize with the illegal aliens who come here, yet so many of them seem to have absolutely no desire to become upstanding members of our community. Having stolen an identity, it’s so easy for them to ignore any responsibility for their actions…at what cost to others?

One argument offered by those who try to justify the use of fraudulent social security numbers by illegal aliens is that they are “made up numbers,” so they are not hurting anybody. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We’ve all heard about the massive identity theft of children’s social security numbers in Utah (estimated 50,000), but what of the children who are actually born into identity theft?

NO ONE is safe from identity theft…

…and every average citizen is vulnerable to the nightmare.

How culpable are those who choose to make their living at the expense of the lives and fortunes of people who may very well be their neighbors? Too often they only get a slap on the wrist if they’re caught, despite this enormous cost to citizens and society in general…

…and what of the danger to our security?

Nothing is going to change until our legislatures, both state and federal, strengthen the laws surrounding this crime and increase the penalties for violating them sufficient to suit the crime and the damage it inflicts upon so many people in our nation. Identity theft is big business, and just as damaging as organized crime to the well-being of the citizenry…a multi-million dollar enterprise.

Why has it reached such proportions? Perhaps because there are millions of undocumented people here, now, who somehow feel that it is their right to take what their victims have earned because they happen to need or simply want it…whether they deserve it or not. Some may say that the answer is a national identification card, another potential abrogation of our personal liberty, but it’s not…they will simply find a way to counterfeit those, and it’s business as usual. I see no reason for sympathy here.

It is particularly offensive when individuals who are in a position of power, or possibly about to be placed in a position of power, deny that identity theft either exists or that it’s a problem:

You may want to note that Michelle Malkin is interviewing Dr. Juan Hernandez…currently Senator John McCain’s Hispanic Outreach Director.

Have you checked YOUR credit report lately?


July 9, 2008 4:45 am - Posted by | Illegal Immigration | , , ,


  1. what put illegal immigration on my radar was the fact that an illegal immigrant used my SSN to get a job at Swift Meatpacking Co. However it was luck the right after this guy got the job it also got raided. I got a friendly call from DHS and they took it from there. Since there was not too much damage it didnt take long to clean up but the fact that my identity was pretty much invaded I was pretty upset.

    Comment by josh | July 9, 2008 8:42 am | Reply

  2. Absolutely you were, Josh…of course…and I agree with you, AWC. There are so many negative issues, stolen identity being one of them, attached to illegal entry and presence in this country.

    I do believe that “the process” for legal immigration needs to be reviewed and amended where necessary, e.g., to adjust quotas. However, to ignore the existing process and “walk across” is not the answer.

    It would be so much more helpful if those who support illegal immigration would redirect their efforts toward improving opportunity for legal immigration of those who wish to become American citizens.

    MWB had best hurry; eventually they will find themselves “shut off” because we’re a little different, AHB.

    Comment by freedom | July 9, 2008 9:17 am | Reply

  3. One major issue is the use of the SSN as an identifier. It was never intended to be used that way. The SSN only has 9 digits. Your credit card has 16 digits.

    The difference is that the people who decided that credit card numbers needed to be 16 digits wanted to make the chances of coming up with a valid credit card number with 16 random digits as small as possible.

    The people who decided that SSNs should be 9 digits had no such considerations. There isn’t even a check digit in the SSN to guard against data-entry errors. There aren’t enough digits for that.

    Right now, if you strung together 9 random digits, you have at least a 1 in 5 chance of coming up with a valid SSN.

    It’s higher than that if you know what prefixes are valid and use one of those.

    I’d guess the penalties for fraudulent use of a credit card number are higher than the penalties for fraudulent use of an SSN. For credit card fraud, the Secret Service gets involved.

    Comment by BrianL703 | July 9, 2008 1:45 pm | Reply

  4. It looks like identity fraud is now investigated by the Secret Service too:

    Comment by BrianL703 | July 9, 2008 1:48 pm | Reply

  5. This reminds me of the argument on the anti side that coming into the U.S. illegally is only a civil offence and it’s not that bad. When you mention the fact that most of these people use stolen SSN’s they come back with saying that it only dumps more money into social security and that it proves they pay taxes. They consistently fail to realize the negative results of this common practice. I saw a story about a guy in Louisiana who had his SSN stolen and used all over the country. The IRS wanted him to pay back taxes on money he never saw. He had to hire lawyers to fight the IRS and private eyes to track down the guy using his SSN and he is now bankrupt because of it. I think that some people would quickly change their views if something like this happened to them, I doubt that they would see coming into the U.S. illegally on only a minor civil offence.

    Comment by hello | July 9, 2008 4:46 pm | Reply

  6. there are some things that I fell could be done to help hinder identy theft and especialy for the elderly. After a major fight they finaly took your SS off of your drivers licence in VA. Why do they also have to include the day of your birth on your licence. Just put the month and year for what is printed. The police would have the full record so if stopped and they ask for your birthday you will know the correct day and a false licence holder would have a 1 in 31 chance of guessing the right day. this would apply to those getting a new licence issued over 21. Why does Medicare have your SS for its number. I use a PO for the address on my Va drivers licence, of course DMV has the correct street address on file. If you got my wallet you will not know the correct zip code if you checked a credit card in the wallet. I do not carry my Medicare insurance card so you will not know my SS number. You also will not know where I lieve either as the car Registration is to the PO as well. PWC askes for your SS number when you bring in a new vehicle and for what purpose ? They should purge all SS numbers they have on their computer system.

    Nigara has a whole industry for identy theft.

    Comment by Bob Wills | July 9, 2008 8:14 pm | Reply

  7. AW I am so, so glad you are doing this. Finally someone who focuses on “truth”, the simple fact that the illegal alien debate is about “Law Enforcement” and the failure of the existing local, state and federal law enforcement personnel to protect 360 million americans from the lack of ethics and HUGE impact dumped on citizens by 12-20 million “illegal” aliens.

    I now never give out personel information to ANY business. I have no credit card now, and the debit card I use is now a MAESTRO that “REQUIRES a pin” to work, and CANNOT be used as a credit card in a restaurant without a PIN entered. It cannot be used simply over the phone or by swiping a piece of paper and checking a VVN number on the back. Being familiar with the security industry I advocate people NEVER put personal info on the internet and severely limit on-line transactions, removing on-line banking from your “lazy” list completely, as ID theft of bank cards and accouts is skyrocketing, now selling on the international market one account number with credentials for $1.50 per pack of 100 accounts, stolen SSNs and credit cards.

    I deeply support the need to transition SSNs to 3rd party verification security systems, and the new technologies, like the one Germany is now using to replace credit cards and SSNs with “fingerprint readers” at the grocery checkout line. Your thumb or iris pattern is now your new ID and SSN, in my technology lab for future security systems.

    Try to have an “illegal” duplicate that, won’t get very far, since its just not a simple 9 digit number on stolen paper or guessed at, with some non-verifiable scribble passing for a signature.

    Thank you so much for telling people the real solution is simply enforceing the law, and controlling growth with “legal” quotas, and simply “fixing the system” by stepping up local, state and federal law enforcement to simply find and arrest the “illegal” people who with no sense of ethics, daily damage the rest of us in hundreds of ir-recoverable ways with their lack of remorse and belief in “entitlement”.

    Comment by Michael | July 9, 2008 9:38 pm | Reply

  8. Hernandez is advocating that the current law is “broken” when it is not. It is bling to race, gender, religion and ethnic group and only discrimminates between lawful and un-lawful “individuals”. The current law from his perspective is “broken” simply because it will not allow more people into the country or as many as he desires without any control what-so-ever. He does not agree with any law that controls “unreasonable” growth, and will always advocate that once significant numbers of people “break” these “growth control laws” and significant numbers of local, state and federal law enforcement officers cannot or will not enforce those laws that we should have sympathy for the people who break them and simply give them all “amnesty” and “documents”. This cycle will NEVER end until the law is en-forced in its entirely, if necessary over several years, until it is under control and upheld, protecting the lives, security, and well being of 360 million Americans from being hurt “significantly” by 12-20 million lawbreakers. McCain should be ashamed for allowing a man of these ideologies and “low ethics” to advise him.

    Comment by Michael | July 9, 2008 10:04 pm | Reply

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