MSNBC.com on 'Sharing' Social Security Numbers w/ 'Undocumented Workers'
Identity theft, defrauding the federal government, and illegal immigration are serious criminal matters.
But if you're the Web editor for MSNBC.com, stolen Social Security numbers are merely "shared" with "undocumented workers" stuck in a web of "federal employment laws."
From the subheadline for the front page tease to the May 27 edition of "Red Tape Chronicles" (see screencap above at right):
Millions of Americans find themselves sharing Social Security identies with others, mostly undocumented workers looking to get around federal employment laws.
Of course, you're lucky if just one person is "sharing" your Social Security Number (SSN). MSNBC.com blogger Bob Sullivan noted one Chicago woman who had 37 other people fraudulently claiming her number. Yet at no point in his 33-paragraph post did Sullivan describe the claiming of other people's SSNs as "fraud." What's more, Sullivan turned to an "immigration rights advocate" who painted the illegal immigrant fraudsters themselves as victims:
San Diego-based immigration rights advocate Lilia Velasquez sees similar cases in her practice all the time. Imposters run the spectrum from hardened criminals who ultimately take out loans in the victim's name to well-intentioned Mexicans who are simply doing what they need to do to get a job and feed their families.
"It's not that these people intentionally and maliciously stole someone's name and identity. ... They may feel that they are using the number out of sheer need," she said.