Illegal Aliens in a Dismantled Identity Theft Ring
For the most part, when the issue of crimes related to illegal immigration is raised, the discussion most often turns to crimes committed by illegal aliens that cause death or grievous injuries to the victims, whether the crime involved an assault or a motor vehicle accident at the hands of an unlicensed and/or drunk-driving illegal alien.
Undoubtedly there is no shortage of such infuriating and tragic examples of the consequence of illegal immigration.
Of late, attention has focused on transnational gangs such as MS-13 that has its origins in El Salvador and Los Angeles, California; however, it must be noted that because human nature is human nature, transnational gangs can be found in every ethnic community whose residents come from every country on this planet.
There are other crimes, however, that have a direct nexus to illegal immigration that do not directly involve violence or loss of life but nevertheless claim huge numbers of victims in the United States that may have a profound and life-altering impact.
One of the most serious of those crimes involves the theft of the identities of millions of United States citizens and lawfully-admitted immigrants whose citizenship, lawful immigrant status and good names are valued commodities that provide millions of illegal aliens with a sort of “camouflage.”
Criminals frequently assume aliases as a means of disguising themselves to thwart law enforcement and to conceal their movements and activities. This is why suspects who are arrested by law enforcement authorities are photographed and fingerprinted. Increasingly, other bio metrics, such as DNA and facial recognition technology, are being used to properly identify these individuals to help prevent them gaming the system.
The need to create false identities is one that is of great importance for illegal aliens. They have an obvious need to create an aura of legitimacy so that they can work, rent an apartment or otherwise establish themselves in a community so that they can achieve whatever goals motivated them to enter the United States in the first place. The 9/11 Commission referred to this tactic as “embedding.”
I addressed these crimes and other such crimes in my article, “Immigration Fraud: Lies That Kill.”
The easiest forms of identity documents to produce are counterfeit documents such as Social Security cards, birth certificates, or Alien Registration Cards, so-named because they are issued to comply with the alien registration requirements that are part and parcel of the immigration and nationality laws of the United States and have been since the 1940’s. (Interestingly, in an effort to expunge the term “Alien” from the vernacular, these cards have come to be referred to as “PERMS,” not out of a desire to be “Politically Correct,” but as a result of the pervasive efforts of globalists and other exploiters of the immigration system to alter the public’s understanding of immigration by altering the language of the discussion.)
This tactic of controlling thought by controlling language was accurately and presciently depicted by George Orwell in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, in which he devised “Newspeak” to achieve that nefarious goal.
I addressed the way that control of language leads to thought control and ultimately a loss of our freedoms in my article, “Language Wars: The Road to Tyranny Is Paved with Language Censorship.”
However, while counterfeit identity documents can be helpful to an illegal alien, the most valuable such documents involve the use of actual Social Security numbers that relate to the name and date of birth of the original recipient of that number so that if the name, date of birth and Social Security number are used in conjunction with an I-9 essential for all newly-hired employees, it is likely that the system will accept that combination as legitimate.
In point of fact, it was the enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 during the Reagan administration that virtually created the cottage industry of identity thieves and fraud document vendors who found a limitless supply of potential customers among the millions of illegal aliens who needed rent receipts and utility bills along with other such supporting documents to falsely claim to have resided in the United States for the requisite period of time to apply for legalization. Additionally, illegal aliens needed identity documents to enable them to game the requirements of IRCA to work in the United States for employers who faced sanctions for knowingly hiring illegal aliens.
This created a huge demand for fraud documents and identity theft.
On November 29, 2018 The Department of Justice issued a press release, “Identity Documents Trafficker Arraigned on Identification Fraud and Conspiracy Charges.”
While the title of the DOJ press release referenced a single fraud document trafficker — Jose Armando Pavon Salazar, a citizen of Honduras — the organization in which he participated involved 52 other known members.
The indictment lays out how the alleged massive criminal conspiracy worked.
Here are excerpts from the press release:
“Jose Armando Pavon Salazar (Pavon), 36, a citizen of Honduras, was arrested in El Salvador in January 2018 on an Interpol Red Notice and extradited to the United States on Nov. 28, to face identify fraud charges in the District of Puerto Rico. Pavon had been a fugitive since March 22, 2012, when a federal grand jury sitting in the District of Puerto Rico returned a 50-count superseding indictment charging Pavon and 52 other defendants with offenses involving a massive identity fraud scheme.”
“The superseding indictment alleges that between April 2009 and January 2012, Pavon and his co-conspirators operated an extensive black market identity fraud scheme. The superseding indictment alleges that conspirators located in the Savarona area of Caguas, Puerto Rico, (Savarona suppliers) obtained Puerto Rican identities and corresponding identity documents. Conspirators, such as Pavon, in various locations throughout the United States (identity brokers) solicited customers. The identity brokers allegedly sold social security cards and corresponding Puerto Rico birth certificates for prices ranging from $700 to $2,500 per set.”
“As alleged in the superseding indictment, the customers generally obtained the identity documents to assume the identity of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens and to obtain additional identification documents, such as legitimate state driver’s licenses. Some customers allegedly obtained the documents to commit financial fraud and attempted to obtain a U.S. passport.”
While the majority of customers for these stolen identities are likely illegal aliens who want to work in the United States, taking jobs Americans should have taken, it is likely that some of the “customers” of identity theft rings have come to the United States with far more nefarious goals in mind, including that they may be part of criminal or terrorist organizations who need these documents to embed themselves in communities around the United States.
The demand for such fraudulent documentation is so great that an underground infrastructure of document vendors sprang up to meet that demand, providing not only illegal aliens but the transnational criminals and international terrorists among them, with the documents they need.
Back on February 1, 2007 the Department of State posted a news release: VISA and Passport Fraud: An Overview that included these excerpts from the 9/11 Commission Report:
“For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons. Terrorists must travel clandestinely to meet, train, plan, case targets, and gain access to attack. Because they must pass through regulated channels-presenting themselves to border security officials-or attempt to circumvent inspection points, international travel poses great danger to terrorists. In their travels, terrorists use evasive methods, such as altered and counterfeit visas and passports, surreptitious travel methods and routes, liaisons with corrupt government officials, human smuggling networks, supportive travel agencies, and immigration and identity fraud.”
“The 9/11 terrorists succeeded in carrying out their attacks through the use of fraudulently obtained, but genuine, U.S. travel documents. Throughout the 1990s, members of al-Qaeda learned to exploit weaknesses in the immigration, passport, visa, and entry systems of the United States. They successfully instituted a travel facilitation operation in Afghanistan through the use of travel agents, document forgers, and corrupt government officials. The 19 hijackers employed a variety of methods to conceal their identities, including the use of 364 aliases, fraudulent entry-exit stamps, and altered passports. Through these fraudulent methods, the 9/11 terrorists obtained legitimate passports and tourist visas, entered the United States, and perpetrated the largest terrorist attack in our nation’s history.”
The August 4, 2004 NBC News report, 9/11 report light on ID theft issues, included this excerpt:
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, Collins said.
Ask any victim of identity theft about the impact that the crime has had on their lives. While not a crime of violence per se, identity theft can be traumatic and have a profound impact on the lives of its victims, frequently taking years to finally, hopefully, resolve.
Meanwhile, the criminals and terrorists are able to live, work and conduct their preparatory actions often within the ethnic immigration communities that serve as huge haystacks in which these “deadly needles” hide, with relative ease and confidence that they won’t be discovered until it is too late to stop them.
Once again it is clear that illegal immigration is anything but a “victimless crime.”