Stopping Illegal Aliens from Stealing Our Children's Identities

By Ronald W. Mortensen on April 3, 2012

My last blog concluded by asking "What can we do to stop illegal alien-driven, employment-related child identity theft that is destroying the futures of millions of innocent American children?"

The answer is simple — require all employers to use an employment verification system that ensures that the names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of all current employees and new hires match. After all, an adult may be able to use the name and Social Security number of a child, but he can't use the child's birth date.

An Interview with William Riley
on Identity Theft:
View the Full Interview

Putting this simple solution into effect has proven to be incredibly difficult because of opposition from powerful business, political, religious, and other interests that benefit from illegal immigration.

In order to counter these special interests that sacrifice children to identity theft, it is imperative that the parents of actual and potential victims join together and fight for America's children. These parents bring credibility that others cannot.

One such parent is Jennifer Andrushko.

When Jennifer's husband lost his job, the family applied for public benefits in Utah. As part of the eligibility process, the caseworker ran their five-year-old son's Social Security number and found that wages were being reported on it.

Unlike many parents who just wring their hands and hope for the best when they find that their children are victims of this crime, Jennifer reacted as a mother grizzly bear does when her cubs are threatened and immediately came to the defense of her child.

First, she went to the Social Security Administration and demanded assistance. They said they couldn't help her recover her child's identity. They even refused to provide her any information about who was using her child's Social Security number, where the person was working, or who had paid the wages attached to her son's number.

Jennifer wouldn't take no for an answer and refused to leave. Social Security officials finally provided her with limited information. But they absolutely refused to give her the name of the person using the number because that would have violated the identity thief's privacy. Social Security officials also refused to give her son a new number.

When local law enforcement officials failed to take her son's identity theft seriously, Jennifer went to her state senator who put her in contact with Utah Assistant Attorney General Richard Hamp. Mr. Hamp is a nationally recognized leader in the fight against child identity theft and he quickly took up Jennifer's case.

Eventually, Jennifer read my Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder on illegal-alien driven identity theft and she tracked me down. Together, along with an 11-year-old identity theft victim I had previously assisted, we co-founded a group, Defending Our Children's Future, to protect American children from employment-related identity theft.

Jennifer then took her fight to the political arena. She meets with elected officials at all levels of government and attends every "meet the candidate" event possible. Candidates know that when Jennifer stands up, they had better be ready to explain what they plan to do to stop employment-related child identity theft.

In addition, she has become a regular on talk radio programs where she educates the public about child identity theft and explains the terrible harm that it causes the victims and their families. She is now scheduled to testify before a congressional committee and has been contacted by a major cable TV show.

With constant follow-up from Jennifer, investigators eventually tracked down the woman using her son's Social Security number and charged her with five felonies (three identity fraud and two forgery).

The woman is illegally in the United States and purchased the Social Security number so she could get work well before Jennifer's son was even born. Rather than removing the fraudulently obtained number from the system and arresting the person using it, the Social Security Administration closed its eyes to its use, collected the Social Security taxes paid on it, and then assigned the number to Jennifer's son. He was, therefore, born into identity theft.

The accused identity thief was released on bail. She was picked up by ICE and then again released after posting bail for the second time.

The arraignment took place with Jennifer and her young son in the courtroom. No members of the media were present, so I published a news report on the proceedings.

Recently, Jennifer learned that there are numerous bad credit files associated with her son's Social Security number and that his number had been used for medical services. This opens up the possibility that his medical records may have been corrupted with life-threatening consequences.

Jennifer and Defenders of Our Children's Future are now asking families who are victims of this crime and those who support these families to join with them.

If we are to stop this epidemic of largely illegal-alien driven, employment-related child identity theft and preserve the futures of an entire generation of American children, we all have to become Defenders of Our Children's Future. Click here to be part of the effort.