Now that President Obama granted 5 million illegal immigrants amnesty via an executive decree, legions of undocumented aliens are scurrying about finding ways to prove that they have been in the USA long enough to qualify for the deportation reprieve.
The illegals must prove that they were here since Jan. 1, 2010, which is a challenge since most have avoided setting up accounts and are paid under the table so there are limited employee records.
Applicants for the new amnesty are looking to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA which Obama instituted to allow amnesty for children of illegals born in the USA.
DACA, like the recent executive amnesty, is not authorized by law nor does it have the consent of congress. The program allowed for illegal aliens to show residency by presenting vehicle registrations, baptism records, mortgages, postmarked letters and many other forms.
According to an AP article, Carl Shusterman, an immigration attorney in Los Angeles, has used more creative ways to prove residency such as social media postings. He noted that even a Facebook photo at Disneyland might work.
“It’s not the first thing I would use, but if you’re here illegally and getting paid in cash, you may not have as good records as someone paying into Social Security,” he said. “How do you prove you were here?”
Leave it to the lawyers to come up with great ideas on how to create a history of living in the country. Denver immigration attorney, Laura Lichter, has personally used movie rental receipts, veterinarian bills and customer loyalty programs that detail purchase histories. “You use what you got,” she said.
Former Citizenship and Immigration Services’ anti-fraud unit Chief, Louis D. Crocetti Jr, strongly believes that more random interviews of applicants and visiting potential applicants at their homes is necessary in unveiling residency scams.
Crocetti asserted that visa program audits turned up double-digit fraud rates, including 33 percent for religious workers in 2005 and 13 percent for high-tech workers in 2008.
Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Leon Rodriguez said the agency will hire as many as 1,000 officers to process applications.
Irwin Diaz, 31, who came to the country illegally in 1990, and now works as a construction worker said that he would use paycheck stubs if he applies, but confesses that employment records can cause problems if you worked under an assumed Social Security number.
“Whatever everyone like me is trying to do is see if we’re eligible, see if they have any tickets they owed or things like that,” said Diaz. “It’s people in the shadows.”