Will an illegal immigration crackdown boost cybercrime?

January 10, 2008
Illegal immigration, almost exclusively on the Republican side of the coin, has become the hot-button issue so far in the campaign for president.

All major GOP contenders have their take on it, with former Gov. Mitt Romney taking the most hardline stance, promising that some illegal immigrants could be deported within 90 days of him becoming president. The Democrats, meanwhile, also agree on immigration reform but issues such as health care and the war in Iraq trumped all else along the campaign trail.

The immigration debate, as expected, has focused on the economic burden illegals pose to the United States, to taxpaying Americans, in the areas of public education and police presence, for example.

But one unfortunate side effect of an immigration crackdown that hasn't gotten much press is the connection to cybercrime.

Businesses are becoming better  at verifying things like employment records. So that means fewer and fewer of the estimated 225,000 to 300,000 illegal aliens who enter the country each year will be able to find work without valid documentation.

That, in turns, provides an extremely viable market for identity thieves to continue their assault on unassuming victims, to steal such identifying information as Social Security numbers and then resell them to an illegal.

So, I ask, will anti-immigration reform - which surely will continue to include better ways of identifying illegals - actually contribute to more instances of identity theft? The evidence certainly shows this is the case.

This provides just another reason why anti-cybercrime ideas should become part of all candidates' platforms.
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