Inspector General Slams IRS For Turning Blind Eye To Victims Of Illegal Immigrant Identity Theft

As you know, the IRS has been called out by the Treasury Inspector General (IG) for allowing billions in fraudulent returns to be diverted to illegal immigrants. Now the Social Security Administration IG is slamming the IRS for allowing companies and illegal immigrants to use stolen and fraudulent Social Security Numbers for employment. The full audit report is available here (PDF) – please read it (it’s short).

This type of W-2 mismatching has been going on for decades and the large proportion engaging is this are illegal immigrants (and the businesses who hire them):

…a senior employment tax official at the IRS acknowledged that unauthorized noncitizens accounted for a high percentage of inaccurate wage reporting.

Furthermore, this is anything but a victimless crime. Unfortunately, many of those victims are children:

But, the audit determined, no-match W-2s were more likely to be filed using a real Social Security Number that belonged to someone other than the person on whose behalf the W-2 was filed. “SSA had assigned the remaining 2 million (80 percent[*]) SSNs to someone else,” said the report. “About 380,000 of these belonged to young children, and about 258,000 belonged to deceased individuals.”

The IG reminds the agency that “…intentional misuse of a Social Security Number is a felony…” and castigates them for looking the other way. The IG has an uphill battle, however. I think the IRS is essentially taking a cue from political elites, business elites, and amnesty groups. All consistently ignore the massive identity theft problem accompanying illegal immigration and fight against measures like E-Verify which would almost eliminate child identity theft. To wit, the Gang of Eight illegal immigration amnesty bill provides explicit amnesty from this felony (for individuals and businesses), levies a $10,000 fine against any processing employee reporting the breach to the victim, and undermines E-Verify implementation.

Count on this report being ignored by the media and their favored allies.

*Note: The remaining 20% were not assigned numbers. These will eventually be assigned which leads to babies being “born into identity theft” or legal immigrants etc being assigned a corrupted identity.

UPDATE: Be aware that the report analyzed a subset of filings (only 200 companies) which indicates that actual numbers of victims are orders of magnitude higher than what is in the report.  The numbers related to children are only for 0-13 years of age.  This means the 1.35 million SSN mismatches (from 200 companies over 3 years) includes children 14-17. The SSA IG directly confronts the driver of the mismatches (ID theft):

In previous reports, SSA acknowledged unauthorized noncitizens intentional misuse of SSNs has been a major contribute to the ESF’s growth.

As does the IRS:

Furthermore, a senior employment tax official at the IRS acknowledged that unauthorized noncitizens accounted for a high percentage of inaccurate wage reporting.

Finally, the SSA IG exposes the unethical businesses and their IRS enablers [emphasis added]:

SSA staff told us employers hired unauthorized workers because nothing prevented them from doing so.  That is, employers know SSA had no legal authority to levy fines and penalties, and they were not concerned about potential IRS sanctions.  Several of the industry associations we contacted acknowledged that unauthorized noncitizens contributed to SSN misuse.

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2013 Gang Of Eight Bill (S.744) – Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss (June UPDATES)

Note: For timely updates, see the twitter feed (there are too many updates/reports to post here – I can only update once a week or so).

Illegal immigrants remain a large driver of employment-related identity theft (they need a Social Security Number (SSN) to work).  In 2005, in a New York Times article, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration noted that 75% file earnings and thus use a fraudulent number to do so.  This identity theft often involves your victims (children) as their SSNs are highly valued (they don’t check their credit etc) and fraudulent number that are “made up” are eventually assigned to a newborn (and they are born into identity theft). This crime involves real victims and real damage in earnings, tax, medical, and credit records.

Illegal immigrants remain a large driver of employment-related identity theft (they need a Social Security Number (SSN) to work).  In 2005, in a New York Times article, the chief actuary of the Social Security Administration noted that 75% file earnings and thus use a fraudulent number to do so.  This identity theft often involves your victims (children) as their SSNs are highly valued (they don’t check their credit etc) and fraudulent number that are “made up” are eventually assigned to a newborn (and they are born into identity theft). This crime involves real victims and real damage in earnings, tax, medical, and credit records.

In 2007, I reviewed the amnesty bill that was ultimately defeated.  I noted various significant problems with the bill rendering it unacceptable and unworkable as it stood.  I also noted that the bill was overly intricate, loopholes/vagaries made enforcement measures unlikely, and the bill a major amnesty push.  Six years later, I’m now trying to review a much larger, more intricate bill…and things seem awful familiar.

Just as in the 2007 amnesty attempt, the “Gang of Eight” legislation (S744 – Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act) completely exonerates illegal immigrants from culpability related to identity theft and fines anyone who dares inform their victim(s):

  • Sections 2107 and 2221 amend 40 USC 408(e)(1) to explicitly exempt illegal immigrant amnesty card holder from SSN fraud (ID theft)and Social Security Fraud prosecution. I see no mechanism for informing victims or allowing a means for them to clean up the corrupt SSN records nor seek restitution.
  • Section 2105 prohibits release of information and attaches a $10,000 fine. Thus if a processing officer informs the real SSN holder of a breach, they would face the $10,000 fine. The fine goes into the program (Section 6(a)(1)) that issues the amnesty visas.

No disclosure of SSN used is required, no victim notification (it would be punished with a $10,000 fine), no mechanism for clearing corrupt information from the victim’s record, no means for restitution. It’s all swept under the rug like it doesn’t exist…and victims are left to bear the costs of cleaning up the mess.  The bill is surely going to cost tax payers as well.

  • Section 2106(d) appropriates $50 Million of tax money for grants that allows organizations to assist illegal immigrant applicants get the permits and appears to allow them to use the grants to pay for the permit…with your money.  Better yet, the $10,000 fine for informing a victim of identity theft would go into this fund as well – inform a victim and help pay for the perpetrator’s permit.  How’s that for a double slap in the face?
  • Update: Under Section 2101 (page 92), illegal immigrants get a brand new SSN (not so for their victims). In the meantime, they (and their employers) get carte blanche to continue to use the stolen/fraudulent SSN.

It is worse than amnesty; it punishes the innocent and rewards the perpetrator.

Update: Rewarding unethical behavior (employer amnesty) is also in the bill:

Besides the illegal immigrant identity thieves, their unscrupulous employers also get amnesty from knowingly illegally hiring them (including knowing about the identity theft) – See Section 2104(a). These are the same employers who happily undermine their competition on labor costs and effectively force the honest competitors to choose to also become violators themselves, face market-share declines, and/or business failure (bankruptcy). We’re rewarding the dishonest profiteers here. Note, again, the employer is free to continue to allow the stolen identity use while a new SSN is given to their illegal employee. Note in the May 1 update below the tax benefit the unethical employers are given.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform 2007, now 2013  – “Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss”…

Note: Rather than separating reviews, I will post updates (when time permits) as I continue to go through the bill to this article.  Stay tuned.

UPDATE (May 1)

Clarification – there’s an argument that since there is no explicit SSN disclosure requirement, no application processor would know about the SSN used and, therefore, could never be subject to the $10,000 fine. That is not correct – they will see the SSN used. Section 2102(a) requires the applicant submit employment and/or education records (under the amended 245C(b)(3)) – these records include the SSN used for the employment and/or education.

More articles are coming out as people continue to work through the bill. I have added links in reference to those articles, where appropriate. I am, honestly, beginning to loose track of the number of amnesties and may just start linking the articles which reference the bill (if you wish to see the provisions yourself). Many of the below points are detailed here.

  • Unscrupulous employers who paid illegal immigrants under the table and failed to pay payroll taxes are given amnesty and not required to pay back taxes (that is an economic advantage over their ethical competition which paid the payroll taxes).
  • Illegal immigrants and their employers get amnesty from I-9 fraud and perjury.
  • Illegal immigrants get extremely gracious terms on the $1,000 “fine” which then goes into the aforementioned $50 Million grant fund that can be used to pay for their permit. Assuming they get a grant, it’s like a revolving door; the fine pays for your permit (there is no real fine). In Vegas, this is known as a shell game. Per the linked article, legal immigrant applicants are not eligible for the grant.
  • Repentant illegal aliens who want to legally rectify their status and those in the process of doing so face another disadvantage: they must stay in their home country for a decade. Unrepentant illegal immigrants get immediate legal status (“provisional”) and get to stay here and work during the 10 year waiting period. Yet another perverse incentive. (Update: it’s worse, the unrepentant may not even need to wait 10 years for citizenship: [L]oopholes put many illegal immigrants on fast track to citizenship
  • Applicants are granted amnesty from paying back taxes (employers are given full amnesty – see above). Per pages 68-69 of Section 2101, tax liability is limited to “assessed taxes”.
  • Going along with the amnesty for businesses illegal hiring practices, the bill has a gaping hole related to E-Verify, effectively gutting the program for years (pages 503-504 of Section 3101 – read the article for details).

Another loophole was found that results in illegal aliens immediately qualifying for welfare programs based on page 91 (Section 2101) based on state law definitions (see the linked article for details).  That should make things easier for the USDA’s current food stamp marketing emphasizing no immigration status requirement.

Anyone really surprised why the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce is supporting this and threw a major tantrum when Senators Lee and Hatch expressed misgivings?

Just for the record: The bill is listed as having around 844 pages. That’s a misnomer. A good part of the bill only adds/removes sections to already existing law that must be looked up and read to determine the context and what the addition/removal actually does. The bill is, realistically, much larger than 844 pages. Reminiscent of Obamacare.

UPDATE 2: Hey, who’s for interjecting gay marriage into the bill?  Patrick Leahy plans on adding in the ability to sponsor your foreign born same-sex partner for a green card (after all, we don’t want to break up families…).  Do note, however, that the same-sex thing is political “Kabuki”.  Dude, I can’t help but laugh at the fiasco this is becoming. Update (May 8): Let the Kabuki begin! Senator Patrick Leahy Files Amendments (also opening the door for Dems to surreptitiously kill the bill).

…and illegal border crossings are spiking in anticipation of the amnesty (from CBS of all places):

UPDATE (May 4): Rubio et al have prepared a substitute bill to deal with flaws.  The first “flaw” to fix: Increasing the bill’s start up cost tenfold, from $100 Million to $1 Billion.  Problem. Solved.

UPDATE (May 8): Looks like there are also problems with the background checks.  The loophole appears related to the prohibition on sharing information gained from submitted applications (Section 2105).  The wording also appears to grant amnesty and immediate legal status to those who’ve already been deported as well as family members.  Business is still pushing the bill and it is no surprise as to how it mirrors a bunch of HB116 which is Utah’s unconstitutional amnesty attempt by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce to get a lock on cheap labor (no matter what the cost to taxpayers may be).

I’m sure more will shake out but this, yet again, demonstrates why these monstrous “comprehensive” bills (eg Obamacare) crafted behind closed doors are something to avoid.  This really should have been broken up into several separate bills to be fully developed, debated, and vetted in public.

UPDATE (May 10): NRO finds a loophole for known illegal immigrant gang members (basically we have to trust they’ll behave).  Note the waivers option.  ICE’s union and Senator Sessions notice a major problem with huge discretionary power ceded to DHS’s Secretary thereby allowing the secretary to waive any crime etc and grant amnesty at will:

They warn that the Senate immigration bill gives DHS Sec. Janet Napolitano “virtually unlimited discretion to waiver” prohibitions on obtaining legal status, such as criminal activity or previous deportation:

Additionally, this waiver power is denoted as “sole and unreviewable discretion” in several instances in the bill (Andrew Stiles goes into detail).  That means Napolitano or a future Secretary’s decision is final – no judicial nor other review can be legally made on the decision. Period.

The Social Security’s chief independent actuary found that the bills provisions will not stop illegal immigration.

The most telling event, however, was the action taken by the Senate Judiciary Committee in rejecting an amendment to require border enforcement go into effect before granting provisional legal status.  Senator Schumer is quoted as noting the amendment would “…delay, probably forever, any legalization…”.  Allahpundit notes Schumer’s (finally) honest admission:

That Schumer quote is pure spun gold. We can’t delay legalization until the border is effectively under control because, let’s face it, the border will never be effectively under control. The border-security provisions are a sham, by his own admission.

Read the above post on the amendment (it is excellent) and don’t miss the part about Rubio wanting to add a provision for a double fence which was already legislatively required in…2006.  We should totally trust them this time.

While 66% of voters want border security before amnesty and the majority don’t believe government will follow-through on security measures, we’re going to keep wasting time and resources on something that is a shinola sandwich and the lowest political priority for Americans.  Take a guess what is the second lowest priority and click the link (hint: it recently failed and Obama/Senators want to resurrect it for another vote).

UPDATE (May 22): Almost two weeks have passed since the last update – I suck.

First, Leahy’s kabuki confirmed on his gay partner stuff. While we’re on the Judiciary Committee shenanigans, here’s one from the Republicans Graham and Flake covering their butts (please SC and AZ, remember this come election time).

Meanwhile, in Utah, Hatch tried to get cover for his upcoming vote in support of amnesty at the Utah GOP convention but came out with zero when delegates refused to pass a resolution in support of the amnesty-promoting Utah Compact. Hatch’s game runs the Flake/Graham tactic. Put up some amendments that don’t have a prayer of passing. Then, reluctantly…reluctantly, support the bill because it was the best you could get…stressing the shock (shock!) that they didn’t take your amendments. Rubio is in on this too, and appears to be coordinating the deception.

The Gang of Eight bill supporters also came out with two admissions today: Not all back taxes are required after all, and illegal immigrants will be eligible for tax-funded welfare benefits and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The Union for Immigration Processing Officers is now also opposing the bill citing it will make enforcement even harder, “provides no guarantee of increased border security”, and will result in an “approval machine” “instead of conducting diligent case review…”

Then the enforcement joke in the amnesty bill remains as it is entirely focused on appearances over results.  Child identity theft still remains to be acknowledged.

UPDATE (June 4): Remember, the lengthy Obamacare bill?  Me to…looks like get to relive the experience: Immigration Bill Swells to Over One Thousand Pages.  Looks like Rubio will also be eating his words:

Rubio said The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro was pushing “myth” over “fact” for saying the bill would be “more than 1,000 pages.” The Post’s Nakamura, the Miami Herald, and the Washington Examiner’s Byron York also received criticism from Rubio for their articles reporting the estimate of the bill’s length.

Rubio also attacked his Senate colleagues, criticizing Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for saying it was a “thousand-page bill” and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for suggesting the estimates could place the bill’s length as high as 1,600 pages long…

…The new bill towers over previous versions in length, clocking in at 1,076 pages. It was introduced on Tuesday afternoon.

I’ll try to get through the next version.  My understanding is that the ID theft amnesty and fine for informing a victim remains as do most, if not all, the problems I’ve highlighted.

UPDATE (June 5): Looks like not only are back taxes requirements a sham but the “undocumented immigrants” will also be getting tax credits – Tax credit bonanza for illegal immigrants? Remember, tax credits are direct payments (with your money) to the filer (unlike deductions that reduce the amount taxed).  Then again, this may not be that new…they are simply legalizing a practice that so far is illegal but, thanks to IRS neglect, has been costing us billions.

UPDATE (June 21):  The latest gambit to keep the bill going is more theater via the Hoeven-Corker amendment.  This time it involves border agents in order to provide cover for a few more Republican votes.  The bill keeps the immediate legal status for illegal immigrants (even Rubio admits that now).  Basically, it is a continued exercise in the “trust me” mentality of Congress…there still remains no concrete triggers or benchmarks that must be met before any form of legal status is granted.  Rush Limbaugh also covered the charade:

Probationary legalization happens for the 11 million right away, and you and I know why. Once that happens (we’ve talked about this I don’t know how many times), then the political pressure’s gonna build. “Why can’t they vote?  I mean, we’ve put ’em on the pathway to citizenship!  We have said that it’s perfectly fine for them to be here and we love them being here.  They now have their status; they’re on their way to citizenship.

Additionally, as far as I can tell, the amnesty for identity theft remains, as does the fine for informing a victim.

We also have the CBO admitting that the immense bill legalizing millions will is only expected to cut future illegal immigration by 25%.  The above amendment (if adopted) may change that assessment, but I doubt it given the follow-through on enforcement we’ve seen in the past.  So, if this crap sandwich is pushed down our throats, we can expect another immigration crisis demanding legalization in another 20-30 years.  Problem solved.

Edit: Forgot to also note that bill, thanks to Obamacare, makes it more expensive to hire a qualified US citizen (incentivizes hiring amnestied illegal immigrants).

UPDATE (June 24): The bill is now heading for a cloture vote (now would be a good time to call Hatch at 202-224-5251 and ask how he plans to vote and remind him that a vote for cloture is a vote for the bill.

There are several new reports out too.  It turns out that the Hoeven-Corker amendment is more of a sham that I first thought – a provision guaranteeing citizenship for visa overstays was snuck into the amendment.  Senator Reid and the Gang of 8 are busily buying votes (ala Obamacare process) with “special interest provisions designed to secure the votes” (ie pork projects for senators – see here for a prime example of such a payoff).  If that isn’t Obamacare enough for you, try this one out: the bill is not going to be read before it is voted on.

Edit: More kickbacks and another loophole:
Casino Kickback: Reid, Heller Slip Las Vegas Tourism Handout
Bernie Sanders adds jobs bill to immigration legislation
Repackaged Amnesty Bill Allows Napolitano to Nix Border Fence

For an easy way to contact the Senate, a toll free number can also be used (note it is from a pro-amnesty group). The number is 1-888-979-7506.  After the message, press 2 for Senators and enter your zip code – you can also enter 0 for the Capitol switchboard to ask for any other Senator you wish to contact.

UPDATE (June 26): So Hatch voted for cloture without reading the bill (I asked his office and enjoyed listening to the poor interns try to redefine “read”). He has since run to the Tribune and stated he’s going to vote for the bill. Apparently, he found the time to pen the article rather than using it to read (part of) the bill. I guess, reading the bill proponents’ talking points passes for doing your job as a legislator. Please continue to call Hatch’s office (toll free: 888-978-3148) – don’t let him claim he didn’t hear any opposition from constituents.

So what is Hatch going to support? First, the above documented flaws remain (he’s cool with them including the fine for informing ID theft victims).

The hiring unintended consequence came as a “surprise” to several Senators who also didn’t read the bill. They pledged to fix it and Senator Cruz gave them the opportunity to fix it…and they refused.

Boehner is saying the House won’t consider the Senate version. I don’t trust him, this is weasel wording (ie House will pass a different version…which then goes to conference committee and we magically end up with the Senate version being crammed down our throats). Nothing resembling the Senate bill should be considered (otherwise we run the risk of the conference committee). Keep calling your House Representative.

Edit: Hey, remember when Rubio said allowing gay partner sponsorship under the bill would be a deal breaker?  Me too.

DOMA ruling has direct impact on immigration. Married same-sex couples can now sponsor foreign partners. No need for Leahy amendment, right?

— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) June 26, 2013

Closing Update (July 2): Finally, the last update (I’ll begin a new post if/when the House puts up a bill). Hatch voted for the bill and Lee against. The battle is now at the House where they are, thus far, not interested in the Senate version. Hopefully that holds, I just worry if the House passes a decent bill if Reid and the Gang won’t play “reconciliation” games to stick us with their mess of a bill. If they can even remotely use the reconciliation trick, they may well have poisoned the well this congress and it might be better to pass absolutely no immigration legislation whatsoever.

So here are some worthy parting links on the fiasco that remains the Senate/Gang of 8 amnesty bill:

Senator Hatch is exposed for the double standard he places on individual back taxes versus businesses.

More pork spending is discovered in the bill.

Hugh Hewitt pinned down Hoeven on the fence, who then effectively admits the fence provision is a sham. Meanwhile, we find out how many DUIs an illegal immigrant can be convicted of and still get citizenship.

As wrap-up, here’s a brief article on the Hoeven-Corker amendment highlighting the fake enforcement provisions vs real amnesty.

Finally, here’s the link to the almost 1,200 page bill (PDF) in all it’s glory…and, yes, the ID theft amnesty and fine for informing a victim sections are still in the bill. Again, be aware, the bill is full of references amending other statutes, so it is really much longer than a cozy 1,200 page bedtime read.

Illegal Immigrant ID Theft And The FTC

I have previously highlighted WTHR’s Bob Segall’s reports on illegal immigrants raking in billions in illegitimate IRS refunds. I need to keep better tabs on him. A little while ago, he completed a three part report on an illegal immigrant’s identity theft and the victims and damage left in his wake:

Targeting children: the young victims of identity theft
Indianapolis man charged with stealing child’s identity
Identity theft suspect sentenced to one year in prison

As I documented so many times before, illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. This is by no means an outlier nor limited to Indiana. It is in Utah and nation wide. The fact is that illegal aliens need an SSN to work for a legitimate employer and, as noted by Segall, children’s identities are the prime target. This is exactly why we need to address Utah’s currently toothless E-Verify law.

Interestingly enough, Segall also repeatedly cites FTC data on identity fraud against minors. Utah has plenty of those as well. While illegal immigrants are not the sole source, per the Social Security Administration’s chief actuary, they are a large driver. Is it any wonder identity theft continues to top the FTC’s Consumer Complaints?

Shurtleff Again Partners With Soros-Backed Group

About six months ago, Utah’s Attorney General,Mark Shurtleff, began teaming* with a George Soros funded group (National Immigration Forum).  Back then, the group’s “summit” included Salt Lake City Police Chief Burbank and KSL host, Doug Wright, having a good laugh about knowing where stolen and fraudulent identities are sold locally effectively broadcasting Burbank will do nothing about it.  Interestingly, Mark Shurtleff  (aka “Utah’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer) was sitting next to them and never admonished either one.  Besides pressing for illegal immigrant amnesty, the group also works to stop E-Verify implementation.

Apparently, Mr. Shurtleff likes the group’s positions and direction so much, he’s going to help them push their agenda in the Southeastern United States:

April 2012

– Mayor Paul Bridges of Uvalda, Georgia, Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, Jeb Bush, Jr. and others will host the Southeast Summit: Forging a New Consensus on Immigrants and America in Atlanta. At this event, business, law enforcement, and faith leaders from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia will begin to develop a common understanding of the value of immigrants and immigration to the Southeast and America.

*Note: Besides Shurlteff, Burbank, and Wright, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and Sutherland Institute (Paul Mero), Downtown Alliance, and “Melaleuca” were also involved in the event.

Kabuki Administration: Utah Governor Herbert And E-Verify

Yoda once wondered if the Jedi had dealt with “…the Master, or the Apprentice?”.  While I called Lt. Governor Bell’s antics on voter identity protection “Kabuki“, it looks like he’s just the Apprentice and Governor Gary Herbert is the Master.

Since, it was made clear that the Utah Legislature was destined not to act on fixing Utah’s very weak E-Verify* law, he’s been running around whining how utterly disappointed he is that no action was taken to anyone who will listen.  He was still running his act on Saturday.  As I stated about two weeks ago:

Meanwhile, Governor Herbert is still trying to salvage something by reiterating how strongly he supports E-Verify legislation.  As I noted on Monday, the fact of the matter is he doesn’t really give a rip.  He will talk big but will take absolutely no action or show even a whiff of leadership.  The E-Verify bill (HB477) was a single vote away from the committee hearing but the Governor could not be bothered to get that vote or involve himself in the matter at all…but he did find the time to declare “Jeremy Evans Day”.

Given his tenacity, I think the Governor is due for an award: The Captain Louis Renault award (h/t HotAir’s Ed Morrisey):

*E-Verify is a free system employers can use to verify job applicant identity.  It effectively prevents child identity theft by illegal immigrants, fugitives, deadbeats, and other thieves.  Utah has a law requiring the system’s use but there is no penalty for businesses violating the law.

ABC4 Identity Theft Report Highlights Utah Voter And Child Risk (Lt Gov, Legislature Inaction)

Late last week, ABC4 reported that “Identity Theft on the rise in Utah“.  A few portions caught my attention.  First:

“It’s like they know our seniors. My mother in law is 91, she has been targeted many times,” said one woman.

It may well be because they do know our seniors, and Utah government, specifically the Lieutenant Governor’s office may well be providing crucial information for the scammers to target seniors.  The Lt. Governor’s office makes the entire Utah voter registry publicly available to those willing to pay for it.  The list includes name, address, phone number and…date of birth.  With this list, all scammers need to do is filter out the elderly (using date of birth) and they have a rapidly, refined target list.

Surely, the Lt. Governor would take action?  Quite the opposite: this year a bill was amended to protect voter date of birth from release.  The Lt. Governor threw a hissy fit and including an offensive political charade. Then the Senate took revenge on the Representative who amended the bill.  Additionally, the Utah Republican and Democrat Parties also added their spin (they’ve been consistent opponents for marketing reasons).  They succeeded in getting the House to capitulate and remove the amendment.

Next, another bill will allow you to choose to make your date of birth private (HB304S1).  Yet again, as it made progress (despite Republican and Democrat Party pressure), the Lt. Governor’s office struck again, attaching a large fiscal note to the bill in an effort to kill it.  Apparently, the money from voter registry sales and Party politics take precedence over our seniors, and voters in general*.

Immediately contact your Representative and Senator and politely, but firmly, request that they support HB304S1.

On to the second point of interest:

…a new chilling trend is child identity theft…what we realize is it comes at the worst possible moment. 18 they want to go to school, all of a sudden they find out their credit it ruined,” said Kirk Torgensen, Chief Attorney at the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

I’ve tracked identity theft for years.  This year, the legislature, again, had the chance to bolster the E-Verify law to significantly prevent employment-related child identity theft.  Pressure to stop the legislation included the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, Sutherland Institute, and the LDS Church Public Affairs.  Thus, rather than protection, they opted for deception.

*Note: The released sensitive information on voter registration increases identity theft risk for all voters.  Also be aware: victims of abuse (especially with restraining orders) and stalking victims must also disclose their personal information in order to vote.  This raises a personal safety concern for those individuals.  This problem came up too late to address but absolutely must be remedied by the next session.

Rejection: Republican Legislators Defy Delegates On Illegal Immigration

I think it’s more than safe to say HB300 is dead.  However, its death is instructive on certain legislators’ attitudes toward their constituencies represented by delegates.

During 2011, several county and even the State GOP convention passed resolutions instructing legislators to repeal Utah’s rammed-through highly flawed amnesty legislation (HB116) and replace it with legislation that would respect the Constitution, actually be debated, and respect identity theft victims (HB300 was that bill).  Further, the instruction passed despite fierce opposition from well funded and well organized special interests along with pleas from political elites like Attorney General Mark Shurtleff and in Governor Herbert’s presence.  It was a case of David and Goliath as a small grassroots effort resonated with citizens elected by their neighbors sent a clear message to the legislature.

Unfortunately, many legislators (particularly leadership such as Bramble and Lockhart) appear so beholden to special interests, loyal only to their own interests, or lack the fortitude to stand up to the special interests behind HB116, that they entirely capitulated.  The Senate President (Waddoups) also couldn’t be bothered to stand by his pledge.  They flatly rejected the citizen delegates who nominated them.

Meanwhile, Governor Herbert is still trying to salvage something by reiterating how strongly he supports E-Verify legislation.  As I noted on Monday, the fact of the matter is he doesn’t really give a rip.  He will talk big but will take absolutely no action or show even a whiff of leadership.  The E-Verify bill (HB477) was a single vote away from the committee hearing but the Governor could not be bothered to get that vote or involve himself in the matter at all…but he did find the time to declare “Jeremy Evans Day”. That speaks volumes.

Actually, both the actions of the Legislature’s leadership and the Governor speak volumes.