Long investigation resulted in multiple Mareda county arrests conducted on Wednesday night. Four individuals Juan Vasquez Jimenez,24,Fernando Garcia Martinez, 25, Arcenio Ruiz Bautista,34 and 28 years old Vigilio Martinez have been arrested for possession of counterfeit identification documents while another man 27 year old Misael Martinez-Cervantes got behind bars with charges of producing false id cards, forging state seals as well as possession of counterfeit documents. All suspects are being held in Madera county jail without bail. The gang is suspected of production and distribution of fake id cards including Social Security cards, state photo id cards, driver’s licenses and permanent resident card also known as green cards. About 200 pieces of false identification was secured at the several residences raided by investigation authorities, police has also found $14,000 in cash, half of which is considered counterfeit.
Five month investigation led by Madera County Sheriffs Department, City of Madera Police, Department of Homeland Security Investigations and DMV Investigation unit started in September 2011 after receiving crime tip from an informant.
DMV Director George Valverde was cited saying “Our message is this: if you are engaging in the fraudulent manufacturing of any government document, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,”.
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We wrote recently about a biometric national id card idea and its support from Mitt Romney. Our thought was that it’s a bad idea. University of California in Berkeley Law School Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy also thinks it’s a bad idea. Their study shows why. First the cost, researches conservative estimate says $45 billion. Why so much? well there is a lot of ground to cover; all biometric data has to be collected, the system to collect, maintain and make the data available to employers needs to be built from scratch, over 200 milion photo id cards have to be printed. Second, civil liberties concerns, while people got used to the fact that in post September 11 attacks era security has to be tighten up mandatory biometric data collection might meet resistance from civil freedom activists. Third and perhaps foremost the national biometric worker id card will not solve the problem of illegal immigration and unauthorized employment. Most of illegal employment is casual daily work paid with cash. Do legislators expect contractors to pick up per day workers on the street go back to the company office or 3rd party vendor and verify employment eligibilty? These people have work to do.
As a reminder the report brings up I-9 form, the current way of employment eligibility verification which is filed by every employee by the start date. Obama administration has significantly icreased effort to verify I-9 files by running silent raids.
We’re likely to hear about the idea again during the presidential campaign, especially after it has picked up some bipartisan support
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Abu Dhabi and Dubai extended their deadlines for getting national id card for private companies expatriates residing in free zones. Previous deadline of January 1st 2012 was amended to March 31 fo Abu Dhabi and May 31 for Dubai. Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) made the announcement yesterday. Other Emirates deadlines remain unchanged. The decision is an answer to numerous complaints from free zone residents and employers. EIDA admitted that confusion might have emerged over the fact that free zones are classified as semi-government zones.This resulted in penalties starting Jan 1 2012 for those who didn’t apply for national id card in time.
EIDA has emphasized the fact that the decision is a part of highest level of service commitment to the residents. All without a valid id cards were called to apply for the document or renewal as soon as possible and not wait for the last moment. All UAE population is expected to be covered by EIDa national id card plan by the end of 2013. As of now only Ajman has managed to link all government services with the id card. Abu Dhabi requires the document for car registration and other motor vehicle services while Dubai requires the card for public transportation monthly pass purchases.
All Emirates are expected to integrate every government service with national id card within next 2 years.
West Virginia became REAL ID Act of 2005 compliant effective January 3rd 2012. It has caused some confusion among the state residents which caused DMV Commissioner Joe Miller issuing a news release this morning. The statement basically reminds the residents of the new rules when applying for state identification documents such as driver’s license or photo id card. According to the new regulation in order to apply for new document, change the data on the existing one or renew an expiring document the applicant must bring 1 proof of Social Security Number such as SS card, W-2 form, pay stub or Social Security Benefit Form, one proof of identity such as US birth certificate (notarized copy is fine), valid US passport, valid Department of Homeland Security Documents (for foreign born residents), 2 forms of residency proof , the list for this is pretty long and can be found here http://www.transportation.wv.gov/dmv/Driver-Licenses/Pages/NEWLicensingRequirements.aspx.
Also since Jan 3rd the state residents can apply for REAL-ID fully compliant documents with a gold star. These take a little longer to process but allow to access federally controlled premises such as airports and federal government buildings. Despite longer wait time over 35% applicants chosen to apply for gold star documents since it became available.
Yesterday Human Rights Watch called Israeli government to lift residency restrictions for Gaza residents living in West Bank. It’s estimated that 35,000 Palestinians live in West Bank without proper documents. West Bank became part of Israel territory after 6 day war in 1967. The main complaint of the report is that the regulations break families apart. As of now living in West Bank with id card stating residence in Gaza qualifies for deportation. Last year Israeli authorities agreed to register 2800 new residents in West Bank and issued them proper id card with West Bank residence. Right after the 1967 war authorities conducted a census and issued id cards to over a million residents yet according to Human Right watch 270 thousand have been missed during the census.
Many West Bank residents lost their status due to excessive absence. While many people were granted residency since the system is described as clogged and causing backlogs, especially during security tension crisis time which can last for significant amount of time in that region. West Bank residents without proper identification use smuggler tunnels to cross Gaza and West Bank borders.
Israeli authorities accused report authors of anti Israel bias. Government’s spokesman Mark Regev said that “everyone knows Israel is a democracy and we have a powerful and vibrant independent judiciary,” which in his opinion denies the idea of arbitrary restrictions on the rights to reside and travel.
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Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff started new identity protection for children on January 31st. Together with Trans Union credit bueurau the new initiative will actively monitor minors credit profile and alert on any suspicious activity. The way it works is simple. Parent or legal guardian registers the child securely online with the service using name, address and Social Security number. From that point until the child reaches the age of 17 years Trans Union would alert creditors about potential fraud risk whenever credit profile information is requested by any creditor. Registration would also result in purge of any fraudulent information already present under child name within Trans Union database. Child Identity Protection (CIP) program is a result of a couple of years effort of Attorney General office and State Representative Eric Hutchings trying to figure an active prevention service against children identity theft. Reactive service, Identity Theft Reporting Information System (IRIS) was in place since 2006 and allowed to report identity theft. It was a huge success and collected over 3000 entries since it was launched. CIP is a next step from IRIS in protecting identity agains fraud. “This is a groundbreaking public/private partnership dedicated to specifically protecting children from having their good names and future credit ruined by identity thieves,” said Attorney General during the new service inauguration meeting.
Service is available at www.idtheft.utah.gov
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State Attorney General special Strike Force SECURE has recently raided an apartment at 759 West Center Street in Midvale, UT. The raid resulted in arrest of 6 individuals 25 years old Javier Manenche-Bracamontes charged for possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, possession of fraudulent identification, obstruction of justice, Juan Zacapala-Bacho, 22 for possession of forged writing, Joel Pineda-Prudente, 27 for possession of forged writing, Flavio Sorroza-Vasquez, 31, false information to police, Jose Larios-Lopez, 44, aggravated prior deportation and aggravated re-entry and Cesar Cirino Manenche-Torres, 34, also for prior deportation and re-entry; all suspects are Mexicans. Execution of a search warrant was a result of an extensive investigation. Agent entered the apartment without notice as the residents were believed to carry fire arms. At the site investigators found methamphetamine, cocaine, forged Social Security cards, fake permanent resident’s card popularly known as green cards, driver’s licenses and id cards. Apartment had secret compartments inside the walls where the illegal items have been stored. There was not a clear statement form the authorities if the apartment was used to manufacture forge identification documents or it acted as a distribution center for illegal merchandise. This was the 29th successful case by the SECURE squad resulted in arrests in just 2 past years which shows the scale of the problem.
All 6 men face deportation after the criminal investigation is completed as they were present in the country illegally.
Evanston popular pub, The Keg has just lost it’s liquor license due to public safety concerns over underage drinking. Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl decision also prevents bar owner Tom Migon from getting a liquor license for other place in town. According to the records The Keg has received 111 alcohol-related ordinance citations since 2005. The place also has history of temporary liquor license suspensions; in 2005 for fatal shooting and in 2010 for underage drinking. However bar owner attempted to improve underage drinking prevention by installing cameras to photograph patrons and required 2 pieces of identification he failed to convince the Mayor. Social media also didn’t help the place, it was described as the place to go especially for underage students of Northwestern University. At last week hearing owner’s attorney Todd Stephens blamed fake ID cards manufacturers in China that make it hard to distinguish a genuine state id card or driver’s license from a fake one. It’s certainly hard to prosecute a fake ID card maker overseas however using fake state ID card or even possession of it is a serious offense. Maybe a case of fake id card user prosecuted for trying to get alcoholic beverage in The Kegs of Evanston would have saved the place. All too late now.
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State officials announced 16 percent increase in applications for firearm when compared to two years ago. Only last year there was almost 80 thousand firearm licenses issued. From January 2011 to January 2012 the number of state residents with valid firearm permits jumped from litlle over 1.3 million to over 1.4 million. According to Illinois law residents who want to acquire a firearm must also get Firearm Owner ID card (FOID). During the application processing State Police checks person’s identity and background. Many commentators suggest the spike is related to the fact of lifting a ban for posessing firearm within the city of Chicago limits that has been in force for 28 years and was lifted in July 2010. The rule lifting the ban also requires gun owners to register it with the City Police. That additional to FOID application step is suspected to make Chicago gun owners skip the registration with the city. There are also comments suggesting that the spike is related to possible Obama administration plans to make it harder to get a gun in the future. Others say that carrying a concealed weapon law may be passed in Illinois soon, it was passed in Wisconsin recently making Illinois the only outstanding state in this matter.
There has been a power struggle going on for a while between Home Ministry and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on who should capture biometric data for national id card program. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announced last Friday that both agencies would collect the data on 50/50 share hich means 600 million people per agency in 1.2 billion India. In such a big project some duplication and overlapping is unavoidable but is expect to be minimal. Interestingly UIDAI collects different data than Registrar General of India (RGI). Enrollment for national id card program called National Population Register (NPR) is expected to be completed by June 2013. Collected data will be shared between RGI and UIDAI so that any gaps can be covered and ambiguity cleared. Until then people enrolled by UIDAI will get an Aadhaar number but not id card while residents from which data was collected by RGI will get an ID but not the national identification number. Heads of both agencies agreed that the solution proposed by the prime minister is fair. At this point we can safely say that Home Minister Chidambaram and Nandan Nilekani, chairman of UIDAI have ended the tension between the ministries and national id card project is now in full swing.