Six years ago, I unexpectedly stood up and read a statement (below) before a breakfast gathering of over 70 business owners on the anniversary of 9-11. The room recognized my statement with a minute of silence as a tribute to those that lost their lives, the emergency responders, survivors and their families. Since then I have published the statement on the anniversaries of 9-11.
Since that time, I have written a number of articles in this column linking identity theft and illegal immigration. Illegal immigration fuels identity theft. It is a perspective that few politicians understand and those that do understand it do not talk about it. A congressional candidate in one of my audiences suggested that all officials, local, state and federal, should go through identity theft sensitivity training.
Recently Congressman Paul Ryan alluded to the connection between identity theft and illegal immigration in a television interview.
Some states such as Wisconsin, Vermont and California recruit illegal immigrants to work on dairy farms. Cities such as Madison Wisconsin have passed local government resolutions urging local law enforcement not to report illegal immigrants to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Local governments that serve as sanctuary cities fail to protect our Social Security numbers so most anyone can access, misuse and sell them. Most every person that is in the U.S. illegally will use one or several different identities including real and synthetic Social Security numbers while they are here—the identities of people like you and me.
If as a society we are going to tolerate illegal immigration, whether to a greater or lesser extent, then we must address the consequential issue of identity theft. Government identification numbers can be provided to the immigrants so that legal immigrants and citizens are not victimized by the complications of identity theft.
Regardless identity theft cannot be completely cured because wrongdoers have a need to misuse identities for unlawful and heinous purposes including terrorism.
Below is my statement and tribute to those who lost their lives 12 years ago on that infamous date of 9-11-2001
Twelve years ago, a group of foreigners banded together and acquired 368 identities of people like you and me. Over the course of time, these immigrants used the identities to enter our country illegally, to create multiple identifications, and to finance their lives and their mission in the land of the free. From now on, when you think of identity theft:
- Think of the nearly 3000 victims of 9-11 and their families.
- Think of the thousands of police, firefighters and volunteers who responded to the unprovoked attack 10 years ago.
- Think of the social responsibility that businesses, government, schools and non-profits have to protect the sensitive information that their customers, constituents, patrons, students and employees entrust with them.
- Think to keep your identity secure-your Social Security number, account numbers, driver identification number, medical records and other sensitive information.
- Think to demand that businesses, government, schools and non-profits keep your information secure.
- Never forget, 9-11 started with 19 illegal immigrants--terrorists, also identity thieves, using 368 stolen identities of people like you and me.