Huntsman, Identity Theft, and Tax Money

I’m only going to post up snippets of the letter CitizensForTaxFairness.org (now added to the links/blogroll) sent to Governor Huntsman regarding identity theft and your tax money being used to pay those who may be engaging in it. The letter is somewhat lengthy but has a wealth of information on the subject and details the Huntsman administrations apparent opposition to address the issue. These excerpts will only provide a glimpse of the letter’s content. I highly recommend reading the entire letter:

Just over a year ago, in a letter dated May 8, 2006, our organization, CitizensForTaxFairness.org, respectfully asked the Huntsman administration to (a) help protect Utah’s citizens and especially our children from identity theft which occurs when someone else uses another person’s social security number and (b) to ensure that taxpayer funds are not being used to hire illegal aliens.

Several months later, the importance of verifying social security numbers to protect our children was confirmed by the arrest of the self-proclaimed “King of Child Pornography”, Kirk Swearingen, in Salt Lake City. That arrest came about after a landlord verified the social security number being used by Mr. Swearingen and found that it belonged to someone else…

Unfortunately, the Huntsman administration has failed to protect Utah children from social security number only identity theft and continues to allow taxpayer funds to be used to hire illegal aliens and others using stolen identities. In fact, during the 2007 legislative session, members of the Huntsman administration actively opposed efforts to address these very serious problems. [the letter provides various examples of this]

The solution we proposed is the same one put forth by the Utah Attorney General’s office. Attorney General Shurtleff said: “Employers can help [prevent identity theft] by being more vigilant during the hiring process and verifying an applicant’s Social Security number.”..

In response to our 2006 request, Jeff Herring, the state’s Executive Director of Human Resource Management advised us that the state was in the “analysis phase” of the SAVE or Employment Eligibility Verification Basic Pilot Program. We found this to be an interesting response since a number of other state agencies already use the SAVE program with great success. In fact, according to a senior Health Department official, the SAVE program actually reduces the time necessary to adjudicate certain claims and Workforce services uses it to successfully determine eligibility for federal benefits.

During the 2007 regular session of the Utah state legislature, a number of bills were introduced that were designed to protect children and their families from the devastating consequences of identity theft and to ensure that taxpayer funds are not used to hire sexual predators or individuals illegally in the United States.

Unfortunately, members of the Huntsman administration opposed those bills. The taxpayer funded Office of Ethnic Affairs was especially active in its open opposition to bills designed to prevent identity theft committed by illegal aliens, sexual predators, deadbeat parents and many others…

In an e-mail to the chairman of the committee hearing the Sandstrom bill, the Director of the Utah Division of Purchasing put forth his concerns about the bill. Interestingly, his first concern was not for the victims of identity theft nor was it for the victims of sexual predators who were using stolen social security numbers to hide their true identities…

Apparently, maintaining a large pool of bidders is more important than following the Attorney General’s recommendations for protecting Utah children from identity theft…

We are, therefore, deeply disappointed that while Massachusetts, Idaho, Missouri, Colorado, Georgia, Oklahoma and other states were taking steps to protect their most vulnerable citizens…

We would also note that the current effort by the United States Senate to address illegal immigration does not eliminate the need for the Huntsman administration to take immediate action. Even if the Senate bill passed tomorrow, illegal aliens would continue to use stolen identities and fraudulent documents for an extended period and during that time still more Utahans would have their identities stolen and the damage done to your constituents’ credit histories will continue to mount. In addition, the Senate bill does nothing to stop sexual predators from using fraudulent documents in order to get jobs that will allow them to get closer to our children. [emphasis added]

This really just skims the surface. The letter provides much more detail as well as supporting examples and documentation (including links). Hopefully, the Governor will address the ID theft problem here as other states have done.

I had to think about the last sentence I excerpted. It is still correct. The Senate bill will require employer verification, but not for either 18 months or 3 years after the bill passes (IF verification even stays in the bill or is actually implemented).

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One thought on “Huntsman, Identity Theft, and Tax Money

  1. Pingback: Senate Votes To Protect Certain Felons (Immigration bill) « Utah Rattler

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