How Many Illegal Immigrants Are Getting Fake IDs That Are Real?  Massachusetts RMV Case Is Disturbing

Printed from:

Have you ever gotten hassled over your papers after standing in line at the Registry of Motor Vehicles?

Maybe you should have tried fake documents, stolen identity, and 500 bucks. Oh, and it might have helped if you were an illegal alien.

Defense lawyers like to say an indictment is only an accusation, so it’s with that in mind that we discuss the indictments and arraignments this week of four registry employees at Haymarket in Boston who federal investigators say provided Massachusetts IDs to illegal immigrants by stealing Social Security numbers from U.S. citizens and conspiring with a “document vendor” who supplied fake Puerto Rico birth certificates.

The combination was enough to supply a real Massachusetts identification card from the Registry of Motor Vehicles bearing a photo of the illegal immigrant, according to court documents. The illegal immigrants in some instances were marched over to Boston City Hall to register to vote, a federal investigator said.

Fraud is fraud, but some levels of fraud are more effective than others. These are not fake IDs in the traditional sense, meaning documents that look real but aren’t. Those kinds of fake IDs can often be debunked by detecting design errors or checking a government computer system.

These kinds of IDs are real, even though they were obtained through fraud. No law enforcement officer is likely to question them because they look real (because they are real), and a computer system check will tend to prove they’re real. In other words, this is more sinister than making a fake document.

Are you thinking that maybe this is an isolated incident?

During the first week of June 2015 one of the accused, according to court papers, ran Social Security number checks “with no transaction activity associated with them” 79 times. The next week, she ran 80. In February 2016 she ran 208.

Not all of them resulted in fraudulent documents, according to investigators. Sometimes she found people who had died or who already had Massachusetts IDs. Can’t win ‘em all.

What do we learn from this story?

The lectures about the supposed nonexistence of voter fraud need to stop. If someone is getting away with fraud, there often isn’t any obvious way to tell. The only question about voter fraud is about how much goes on, not whether it exists. Before you tell the rest of us that you’re sure voter fraud is a myth, why don’t we thoroughly investigate it? To those who say it’s all made up:  You didn’t know about this scheme.  How many others don’t you know about?

Speaking of which:  How widespread is this fakery?

Are we supposed to believe that the Registry of Motor Vehicles in Boston is the only place where some fraudulently-obtained-but-real government documents have been (allegedly) issued?

Puerto Rico has long been known as a weak link when it comes to identity fraud. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, and it has been distressingly easy to steal the identities of Puerto Ricans through loosely kept records. Moreover, Puerto Ricans have Hispanic surnames and are hard to tell apart from other Latinos, such as citizens of the Dominican Republic. So it’s a perfect set-up for fraudsters:  provide fake Puerto Rico “proof” of birth, get a real Social Security number and date of birth of a Puerto Rican, make sure the Puerto Rican doesn’t have any arrest warrants or overdue child support payments, and then on that basis issue a “clean” official state identity document to an illegal immigrant identifying him as somebody he isn’t.

That’s well worth 500 bucks, don’t you think?