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Commentary

Crackdown: ICE Agents Break Up Massive Fraud Scheme Aimed at American Taxpayers

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The left frequently pushes narratives about immigration that don’t seem to match reality. Two of them are that Immigration and Customs Enforcement should be disbanded, and that illegal aliens don’t try to take advantage of the country.

Both of those claims were debunked Friday after the U.S. Justice Department announced that more than two dozen people have been arrested for trying to fraudulently obtain government benefits and vote in American elections.

Townhall reports that “22 of the 25 charged were illegal aliens, many with records of drug dealing, violent crimes, and some previously deported.”

According to the DOJ, the criminals stole the identities of Puerto Ricans, who hold U.S. citizenship, to defraud American taxpayers.

“This kind of fraud is a theft from our seniors, a theft from our taxpayers, and a theft from the needy, theft from America,” declared Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a press briefing about the arrests.

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“These government programs are intended to help the poor, the elderly, American citizens. Not those that are trespassing in the country,” he added.

Sessions made a strong point that is frequently overlooked by the left: When the nation’s immigration laws are broken, it is law-abiding Americans — including legal immigrants — who are impacted.

“Across this city and across America, teachers, truck drivers, construction workers are going to work and paying taxes that are being stolen from the public treasury by fraudsters and criminals,” Sessions said.

The criminal syndicate was largely comprised of Dominican Republic migrants who focused on stealing the identities of Puerto Ricans because of the similarity of Hispanic last names.

Do you think the media is downplaying immigration fraud?

Officials pointed to revolving-door policies that allow illegal immigrants to receive only slaps on the wrist as one of the root causes of the widespread fraud.

“(State governments) need to work more closely with state police and not let offenders walk out the door,” said Massachusetts Rep. Shaunna O’Connell. “They also need to be more proactive in mining their own database to look for people who have stolen identifications.”

The level of fraud was eye-opening. For example, one of the arrested criminals named Jose Lopez Rosado was a convicted murderer who escaped prison in Puerto Rico. Despite his past offenses, he was able to take another man’s identity and receive over $25,000 in taxpayer-funded benefits from the state.

“Federal court records show that 24 of the 25 obtained a driver’s license or state ID, 19 applied for MassHealth benefits, one received $51,270 in rent subsidies from the Boston Housing Authorities and two pocketed more than $25,000 in unemployment benefits,” reported WCBV TV.

“At least two registered to vote when they applied for their license or ID,” the station said.

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This bust occurred at the same the that many Democrats are actively campaigning for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be dismantled, despite the obvious role it plays in enforcing America’s laws.

The vast majority of immigrants — certainly the legal ones — are good people who seek a better life. The problem is the ones who have much less noble intentions. We need to face that reality, and not ignore the issue.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.




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