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Dear Editor:
I received news yesterday via the New England AILA Chapter that a criminal scheme involving the sale of social security cards to Brazilians in several states, including Massachusetts was recently discovered by authorities. According to the report, the numbers appeared legitimate because there may have been a cohort within the SSA. In response, the Mass RMV has been sending out letters to Brazilians who have used the SSA# to obtain a driver's license, revoking the license on the basis that he or she is an "immediate threat." Each individual is told to report to the RMV to reinstate the license and that there will be a fine of $50 - $1,000. However, when people actually show up at the RMV to pay the fine, it appears that they are then told to report to the state police. I'm sure many of the offenders are 245(i) applicants, and it is a disgrace that this government has criminalized these people instead of allowing them to obtain legitimate social security numbers once they filed a nonfrivolous 245(i) labor certification. These are the janitors, busboys and cooks who may have entered illegally or overstayed their visas, but nevertheless were allowed by our government to legalize their status if an employer successfully sponsored them for labor certification. During this 2-year period, 245(i) applicants have not been able to obtain driver's licenses, register or insure a vehicle, or work and file tax returns - lawfully. If they are picked up for driving without a license or insurance, they become criminals, and then the American public glibly says, "See, these immigrants are good for nothing; they can't obey the law." If they buy a social security number so that they can attempt to drive "legally", but their fraud is discovered, and plastered all over the newspapers, they are equally damned. The winners here are the companies who have profited from their labor, the government, who has kept all their withholding, and a society which has had its offices cleaned, and its fast food served by people with a very strong work ethic. The people who pose an "immediate threat" are not the aliens who bought the cards, but rather those Americans working in the SSA who sold them. The aliens were between a rock and a hard place; the SS workers were just plain greedy and corrupt. Whom do you fear more? I hope they get burned as badly as the aliens will be.

SJD



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