An interesting aspect of the immigration debate is how forgiving many Americans can be toward illegal aliens, while never extending that same measure of grace to American citizens. One example can be found in the use of the term “false documents.”
The discussion started with a Wall Street Journal editorial that expressed concern that the Department of Homeland Security policy might be “so sweeping that it could capture law-abiding immigrants whose only crime is using false documents to work.” Victor Davis Hanson couldn’t let that statement stand and decided to write a quick response.
He explains that rarely is this just a one-time, minor transgression by an immigrant to create a false document in order to go to work. He says it usually involves “the deliberate creation of a false identity, sometimes at the expense of a real person, and often with accompanying fraudulent Social Security numbers and photo identifications.” These are crimes that foul up the bureaucracy for law-abiding citizens and even facilitate other crimes.
While it may be true that an illegal immigrant might need to create a false document in order to find job in the U.S., it is not merely an end game or minor infraction. Other possible infractions follow from the first crime of entering this country illegally.
And let’s at least acknowledge that if a law-abiding citizen engaged in creating false documents they would face some form of punishment. They would probably be fired from their job. The government would at least fine them if not imprison them for creating false documents.
Sure, there are law-abiding immigrants whose only infraction may indeed be the fact they created a false identity in order to get work. But the many examples Victor Davis Hanson uses in his column are a reminder that false documents are often not the only infraction. Frequently, false documents make it easier to commit other crimes.