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National Fake-ID ring exploited New Mexico's lax driver's license rules

By See-Dubya  •  May 6, 2008 01:24 PM

Shenanigans in New Mexico. Good, dense article here.

A criminal complaint was filed against a Brazilian man and a Kazakhstan woman after federal agents arrested 10 illegal immigrants in an investigation into an alleged smuggling operation involving fake documents to obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses.

FBI spokesman Darrin Jones said investigators learned several illegal immigrants living in New Mexico were charging thousands of dollars to help other illegal immigrants travel to the state to get licenses.

Hmmm…why would illegal aliens from all over the country travel out to New Mexico for this particular service?

New Mexico, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Oregon, Utah and Washington do not require drivers to prove legal status to obtain a license.

In 2003, Gov. Bill Richardson signed a measure into law that allowed foreign nationals , including those living illegally in the country , to obtain a driver’s license. His office has said one of the deciding factors in signing the bill was public safety.

Applicants for a New Mexico driver’s license who don’t have a Social Security number can present identification such as a tax identification number, a foreign passport or a Matricula Consular issued by the Mexican government.

It’s possible that these illegal applicants were just overstaying their tourist visas. There’s a quote from the director of New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Department pointing out that “These are foreigners who got into the country using some sort of identification, and clearly were not on some kind of a watch list unless they used fake documents to get into the country.” He’s also spinning this as a case of sharp-eyed clerks catching the fraudulent documents before it happened. That’s not going to fly, because of the inconvenient fact that it’s worked before:

ICE agents believe Kulekhov and Galiullina transported at least 30 other immigrants, mostly from Brazil, from New Jersey to New Mexico to obtain New Mexico driver’s licenses, and allegedly charged each person $3,000.

But the FBI says that at least some of them were from unspecified countries “associated with special national security concerns”. Whatever that means. Probably not Brazil, right?

Meanwhile, bear in mind that both Democrats have burned their bottoms by publicly vacillating on this licenses-for-illegals scam.

McCain, too. And if you look at item number ten on this list, you’ll see McCain’s still flirting with disaster in this department today.

As a reminder, here’s why these illegal-ID rings matter.


{Post by See-Dubya}

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Categories: Bill Richardson