The subject of undocumented immigrants or illegal immigrants is a very complex one in the US. It is estimated that there are millions of illegal immigrants in the US. Many lead normal lives – working, driving, and taking part in the local economy. This leads many to wonder: how can an undocumented worker or immigrant get access to the social security numbers or drivers license needed in order to function in society? After all, US society relies heavily on an ID system in order to ensure that proper authorization is available in just about every situation. For example, you need ID to drink or buy alcohol, to apply for a job, and to drive a car. However, in order to get the right ID for these tasks, you need to prove your identity. How can someone with illegal status prove their identity and secure a social security number and a driver’s license?
The most common way is through identity theft. That is, an undocumented immigrant may use someone else’s driver’s license or social security card. There are many ways to obtain someone’s ID:
- By getting someone to “lend” their social security number or driver’s license;
- By stealing a license or social security number;
- By paying someone who has stolen a license or social security number for the license or number.
Identity theft is a serious crime, but it can be difficult to track or prosecute. For this reason, many people with an illegals drivers license can get away with identity theft. However, for the victims of identity theft, this sort of theft can have serious consequences. If someone steals your social security card, for example, and gets benefits from your card, you could qualify for fewer benefits when you need them. If someone steals your driver’s license and gets into a serious accident or flees the scene of an accident, a warrant could be put out in your name, since your identity card was used. It can take months or more to prove that you have been the victim of identity theft.
Identity theft and stolen licenses and social security numbers create other problems, as well. People who obtain benefits using social security numbers deprive the system – and therefore legitimate applicants – of those benefits. Drivers with an illegal’s drivers license have not undergone any testing to prove that they are safe and trained enough to drive on the roads. In the event of an accident or a crime involving a car, these persons cannot be traced.