Four years ago, I unexpectedly and nervously stood up and read a statement (below) before a breakfast gathering of over 70 Madison-area business owners on the anniversary of 9-11. The room recognized my statement with a minute of silence. 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 and my Identity Theft Examiner national column linking identity theft and illegal immigration. Illegal immigration fuels identity theft. It is a perspective that few politicians understand and those that do will not talk about it. Last year, a local congressional candidate in one of my audiences suggested that all officials, local, state and federal, should go through identity theft sensitivity training.
Several states such as Wisconsin, Vermont, California and others openly 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). Many local governments, such as the santuary cities of Madison and Milwaukee, 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.
Few want to do anything about it because illegal immigration is such a politically contentious issue. About a year ago, Congressmen Barney Frank (D-MA) and John Adler (D-NJ) along with the American Bar Association, American Medical Association and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants stymied a Federal Law that could have eradicated identity theft in the U.S.—The Red Flags Rule. These people could use the identity theft sensitivity training that the congressional candidate suggested.
Below is the statement and tribute to those who lost their lives 10 years ago on that infamous date of 9-11.
Over a decade 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, fire fighters 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 and terrorists, also identity thieves, using 368 stolen identities of people like you and me.