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IDENTITY THEFT- USE BY IMMIGRANTS OF UNDOCUMENTED SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS IN ORDER TO WORK

Last week, the United States Supreme Court barred prosecutors throughout the U.S. from using the identity theft laws to intimidate immigrants who use false social security numbers to work. The issue in the case was whether the user of the false social security number had to have known to whom the number belonged in order to be subject to an aggravated identity theft. Prosecutors have been using this threat of severe punishment for aggravated identity theft to get alien workers to plead guilty to a lesser charges of document fraud. These aliens had been facing at least a sentence of 2 years for identity theft and then summary deportation. As a result of the U.S. Supreme Court decision the Immigration Service will not be able to press criminal charges against immigrants for using these false cards. The Court held that the identity theft law was aimed at criminals who steal a targeted individual’s social security number with the intent of committing a fraud unlike alien workers who at random invent a number to allow them to work.
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