Fake papers, a serious crime

by Mario Guevara, The Atlanta Latino, MArch 24, 2005

An increased use of fake documents by undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] has placed police departments throughout the state on high alert.

Most people obtain fake green cards and Social Security cards in order to get jobs, and some hiring companies as well as agencies that cash worker paychecks are well aware of this fact.

However, since the use of these documents is a crime, being caught with them can cause big problems with the law.

And not everybody who gets “los chuecos” uses them simply to get honest work. Various cases have come to light where criminals have used them for identification.

Such is the case with Javier Cisneros, who killed two brothers in East Point in 2003. Authorities aren’t ruling out the possibility that Cisneros, who is using a fake green card and Social Security number, may be using an alias as well, since people who apply for these documents can request that their name appear on them as well.


For Antonio Gomez, it only took three hours after negotiating the price of the papers to become a “legal resident”.

It all started at a strip mall on Buford Highway, one of the state’s major thoroughfares with the highest concentration of Hispanics and Asians.

A group of four Spanish-speaking individuals who were loitering outside one of the locations in the mall approached Gomez and asked him if he wanted something in particular.

“Looking for something, buddy? I can get you the ‘mica’ (green card) at a good price and fast, too,” was the offer given to Gomez, who then asked how much it was and was told, to his surprise, that it would cost $150.

After some haggling between the buyer and the seller, they agreed on $120 for the documents, which included photography and lamination fees....

To Gomez’s understanding, the leader of the group, which was made up of six individuals, rarely has direct contact with his “clients,” and hires others to serve as intermediaries.


According to the DeKalb County Police Department records, this type of transaction occurs every day in various parts of the county, but what many of those applying for fake papers don’t know is that if you are caught using these documents by undercover agents, you can serve a 2 to 10 year prison term without a bond.

Officer Frank Figueroa, liaison of Latin American Affairs for the DeKalb County Police, has dealt with various document rings that have been busted, but since this business is so profitable, they regroup frequently.

“This is a very lucrative business for these con artists, so they don’t stop breaking the law,” says Figueroa. “They really don’t want to help people, they want to make money off of exploiting their needs.”...

According to Figueroa, undocumented individuals are better off looking for work without buying false papers.

“Using false documents is a federal crime,” says Figueroa. “If you have a fake green card, you have to appear before an immigration court, and if you have a fake Social Security card you have to appear before a federal court. The issuing agency is the one that prosecutes you.”

Figueroa says that in some cases the number on a fake Social Security card coincides with the number on an original Social Security card somewhere else, which carries more serious charges since in these cases identity theft is involved.

Read the complete article.