President Trump: Tell the feds to stop helping illegal aliens commit identity theft
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Under President Obama, the Internal Revenue Service and Social Security Administration helped illegal aliens to steal Social Security numbers and engage in identity theft. That practice hurt adults, children, and even the unborn, who sometimes receive identities that have already been stolen. 

As President Trump mulls how best to construct a wall in years ahead, he should realize that he could make an immediate difference by ending this failed policy of his predecessor.


While advocates of illegal immigration would have us believe that it is a victimless crime, most people fail to realize that illegal aliens regularly victimize American citizens by stealing Social Security Numbers in order to file fraudulent tax returns. It is widely acknowledged that the vast majority of illegal aliens routinely purchase SSNs from fraudulent document dealers. In most cases, dealers simply print fake Social Security cards that contain a purchaser’s name paired with a fabricated SSN.


Since roughly 50 percent of SSNs have been issued by the Social Security Administration (about 453 million to date), there is a 50-50 chance that a made up SSN belongs to an American citizen or legal resident. In some cases, dealers use the stolen SSNs of American citizens and legal residents.

Illegal aliens generally prefer SSNs that have not yet been legally issued or, failing that, the SSNs that belong to American children since these numbers can be used for years without anyone knowing it – except the IRS and the Social Security Administration.

However, the Social Security Administration does not remove unassigned SSNs used by illegal immigrants from its database. That means the numbers are eventually assigned to newborn, American infants. Neither the Social Security Administration nor the IRS notifies American citizens when their or their children’s SSNs are used by others. In other words, the federal government has facilitated identity theft and protected the identity thieves.

This protection has extended to state and local law enforcement officials  as well, including former Salt Lake Police Chief Chris Burbank who was caught justifying and laughing about the theft, despite the fact that their victims, including an estimated 80,000 Utah children, suffer serious harm.

According to a press release issued by the Utah Attorney General’s Office concerning a crime spree involving illegal aliens and identities stolen from victims under the age of 12, “Identity thieves are no respecters of age. They will steal your children's ID, ruin their credit and hurt them in ways never thought possible before they can graduate from grade school.  Children are vulnerable even if parents do everything right."

At the federal level, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress that the use of stolen SSNs for employment purposes and to pay taxes “is not the normal identity theft situation.”

Some government agencies even create fraudulent SSNs for illegal aliens so they can obtain government benefits that they are not eligible to receive.  For example, a Utah Medicaid official defended the practice of state authorized workers creating fake SSNs so illegal aliens could enroll in the "Baby Your Baby" program, even though many of the randomly created SSNs could and did match the Social Security numbers of people in Maine and New Hampshire—including the SSN of a deputy Police Chief.

Despite what the advocates of illegal aliens say and the stance taken by government officials, illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. When an illegal alien uses another person’s SSN, the victim’s credit rating can be destroyed. The illegal alien’s criminal records will attach to the victim’s SSN which creates serious problems whenever an entity runs a background check on the victim.  The illegal alien’s wages will be attributed to the victim’s SSN as will unpaid tax liabilities on those earnings.  The IRS may then go after the victim for the payment of back taxes on income that the victim didn’t receive.

Victims may also be denied means-tested benefits such as Medicaid or student financial aid because of the illegal alien’s earnings, which are credited to the SSN. In addition, the victim’s medical records may be compromised with life threatening consequences. It is a long, drawn-out process to clear one’s name.

President Trump should demand that the SSA and the IRS stop facilitating identity theft, and he should demand that Koskinen resign from the IRS if he is unwilling to do so. Those actions would contribute immediately towards "draining the swamp" in Washington.

Ronald Mortensen is a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (@wwwCISorg), a nonprofit group that advocates for legal immigration. He holds a Ph.D from the University of Utah and previously worked as a Foreign Service Officer.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.