Despite Puerto Rico’s “security-enhanced” birth certificates, which the island started issuing about five years ago to prevent identity theft and fraud, a number of recent cases are raising the alarm that undocumented immigrants are using the new documents to obtain U.S. passports and driver licenses.
The Miami Herald is reporting a number of cases that have popped up in federal court in south Florida in the last year, involving defendants who got their hands on Puerto Rican birth certificates purchased on the black market. Several people accused of selling them have been convicted and handed down lengthy prison sentences, according to the Herald.
Birth certificates of Puerto Ricans are an attractive target because they confer U.S. citizenship and already bear Hispanic surnames.
The paper mentioned one immigrant, Roberto Hernández Reyes, who attempted to get a Florida driver’s license using the birth certificate of a man, Anthony Medina Torres, who was incarcerated in Ponce, P.R., at the time.
After being arrested, Hernández admitted being from Honduras, and stated that he paid $2,500 for Medina Torres’ birth certificate and Social Security card.
In another instance cited by the paper, a woman named Raiza Melissa Sánchez Romer arrived at Miami International Airport on a flight from Honduras last year and tried to enter the country using a U.S. passport she’d obtained using a Puerto Rican birth certificate she purchased for $1,500.
To read full story: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2015/04/20/despite-security-measures-puerto-rican-birth-certificates-still-used-to-enter/