High court to hear immigrant ID theft case
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ignacio Carlos Flores-Figueroa, an undocumented worker from Mexico, made a curious and undeniably bad decision. After working under an assumed name for six years, he decided to use his real name and exchanged one set of phony identification numbers for another.
The change made his employer suspicious and the authorities were called in. The old numbers were made up, but the new ones he bought happened to belong to real people. Federal prosecutors said that was enough to label Flores-Figueroa an identity thief.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on prosecutors' aggressive use of a new law that was intended to strengthen efforts to combat identity theft. In at least hundreds of cases last year, workers accused of immigration violations found themselves facing the more serious identity theft charge as well, without any indication they knew their counterfeit Social Security and other identification numbers belonged to actual people and were not made up.
The government has used the charge, which carries a mandatory two-year minimum prison term, to persuade people to plead guilty to the lesser immigration charges and accept prompt deportation. Many of those undocumented workers had been arrested in immigration raids.
The case hinges on how the justices resolve this question: Does it matter whether someone using a phony ID knows that it belongs to someone else? (excerpt) read more at usatoday.com
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Supreme Court will hear illegal immigrant ID theft case
Many illegal immigrants steal social security numbers and use them as their own. They can not easily get a real social security number assigned to them. They must give something to their employer when they are hired. They may be using yours. Under a new law that was intended to strengthen efforts to combat identity theft, some prosecutors are taking these illegal immigrants to court on a charge that could bring two years in jail. Immigrants' rights groups have cried foul and took one of these cases to the Supreme court. They argue these criminals don't know they are using someone's social security number and have no intention of identity theft. If you are using someones social security number, you have already stolen their identification. That is the primary number used for credit, health insurance and taxes. Hopefully, the "Supremes" will rule on the side of protecting law abiding citizens this time.