Entering the United States illegally is a crime. Working in the United States without proper documentation is a crime. Use fraudulent documents to obtain employment is a crime, and certainly using someone else’s personal information in these situations is a crime. The ramifications for you or I of committing such crimes are severe. If you’re an illegal alien though, the rules change.
This is how our government works with illegal alien identity thieves. If an illegal alien happens to be caught using fraudulent documents that happened to have been stolen from an American citizen, all they have to say is that they didn’t know the info was real. I’m not joking. Names, social security numbers-you name it. All they have to do is play dumb, and they have the option of being deported, as long as they don’t contest the deportation. The alternative is facing identity theft charges. Of course they’ll take the deportation, knowing that they can come back next week.
That’s not good enough for immigrant’s rights groups. Illegal alien advocate attorney’s have argued in court that the identity theft law should not apply to illegal aliens that play dumb. Lower court rulings are all over the place on this one, depending on whether a judge decides to apply the law or not (that’s a another post). One case has actually made it to the Supreme Court. Yes, the question is, If you are committing a crime and are not aware you are actually committing a more serious crime, should you be charged with the more serious crime? I’m not joking. The court will actually hear this.
This case will decide whether illegal aliens can steal an identity with no fear of facing prison time. It’s unclear whether the decision will affect American identity thieves as well. In either case, it’s the original identity theft victim who will be screwed.