Some fake documents are very realistic, admits DHS.
Green Cards, the document which is testament to permanent residency in the United States, is being sold on the streets of Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for $300-$3,000, says a report by Fox 5 News.
All types of businesses are booming on Roosevelt Avenue, even the illegal ones, says the report by Lisa Evers of Fox.
“It’s easy to get a Resident Alien card, better known as a green card, from street corner hustlers. Like anything else, you get what you pay for. The $300 version will not be as good as the $3,000 version,” she reported.
Evers then went to the Department of Homeland Security Office of Investigations to find out more about this. Special Agent in Charge Angel Melendez told her fake green cards and documents are part of a bigger problem.
“Our true concern are those people or those individuals that obtain these fake documents to continue to perpetrate criminal activity and pose a threat to national security,” Melendez says.
Melendez says technology advances have enabled forgers to make very realistic-looking fakes and that green cards are not used just to get work but also cash in on fraudulent welfare and even veterans benefits.
“With a green card there are certain benefits you can obtain. You can be able to open bank accounts and you can be able to gain lawful employment,” Melendez says.
Homeland Security investigations works closely with local district attorneys, like Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance Jr. Last year, Vance indicted an English teacher who allegedly bilked foreign students of tens of thousands of dollars for promising green cards.
“If you find a person who has a fake document you need to report it to law enforcement,” Melendez says.