LatinaLista — One of the cornerstones of attack against undocumented immigrants by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been identity theft.
DHS and other critics have consistently based their accusations that undocumented immigrants are criminals because they knowingly use Social Security numbers that do not belong to them. However, it’s been conveniently overlooked that in many of these cases where false social security numbers were used, the workers received them either directly from their employers or with their help.
Yet, the accusation that the immigrants are solely to blame still stands with little attempt to lay the fault where it begins.
However, all of that may change now because of a stupid error with good intentions intended only to expedite salaries being paid.
The Dallas Independent School District in Dallas, Texas has not had a very good school year. The 2008-2009 academic year barely got started when it was discovered that there was a $64 million budget shortfall and several hundred teachers would lose their jobs.
Understandably, there were hard feelings among some of the teachers who were let go and who got to stay. What particularly rankled some dismissed teachers was the fact that teachers hired to staff bilingual classes got to stay and they didn’t. Not because these were bilingual teachers but because they were teachers hired from Mexico, Spain and other countries in South America who, according to accusations, weren’t even certified to teach.
Come to find out they were also temporarily working with false social security numbers supplied by the school district.
DISD had been issuing the fake numbers – some of which had already been assigned to people elsewhere – for several years before ending the practice this summer. The false numbers were issued to get the foreign citizens – mostly teachers brought in on visas to teach bilingual classes – on the payroll quickly.
Of course, the leadership in charge is disavowing any knowledge of the practice and those that did know didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. No one has been labeled a criminal for doing this and rightfully, none of the teachers who were issued a false social security card have been labeled one as such either.
Whether or not they had their visas is besides the point since the issue, as we’ve always been led to believe, is how using a false social security number is a criminal act.
Obviously, the criminalization of someone lies in the eye and discriminatory tastes of the beholder.