â€¦ I can tell you half of my family would be eligible for deportation under [President Donald Trumpâ€™s] executive order, because if they got a false Social Security card, if they got a false identification, if they got a false driverâ€™s license prior to us passing AB60, if they got a false green card, and anyone who has family members, you know, who are undocumented knows that almost entirely everybody has secured some sort of false identification.
As everyone knows, America is experiencing an epidemic of identity theft. In the last five years alone, complaints to the Federal Trade Commission from U.S. residents who have had their identity stolen have skyrocketed 60 percent, to 258,427 in 2007â€”one-third of all consumer fraud complaints that the commission receives. Whatâ€™s less well understood, however, is how illegal immigration is helping to fuel this rash of crime. Seeking access to jobs, credit, and driverâ€™s licenses, many undocumented aliens are using the personal data of real Americans on forged documents. The immigrantsâ€™ identity theft has become so pervasive that the need to combat it is â€œa disturbing front in the war against illegal immigration,â€ according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The FTCâ€™s latest statistics help show why. The top five states in terms of reported identity theft in 2007 all have large immigrant populationsâ€”the border states of Arizona, California, and Texas, as well as Florida and Nevada. People who pilfer legitimate identities in these states are much more likely than in other parts of the country to use them to gain employment unlawfullyâ€”the most common reason that illegal aliens steal personal information. In Arizona, for instance, 36 percent of all identity theft is for employment purposes, compared with only 5 percent in Maine, a state with far fewer illegal aliens. â€œTo many law enforcement leaders in Arizona, this suggests that Arizonaâ€™s identity-theft epidemic is directly linked to the problem of illegal immigration,â€ says a recent report by Identity Theft 911, an Arizona company that helps businesses and individuals protect themselves.