U.S. customs officials apprehended a man accused of living illegally in the United States for more than three decades under an assumed identity, authorities said Thursday.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency announced that officials arrested the man as he and his wife were trying to cross back into the United States in Texas at the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge.
Officials did not name the man — and did not immediately respond to inquiries from LifeZette. (Shown above are two customs inspectors.)
“This interception of someone claiming to be a U.S. citizen and reaping benefits not entitled to them is a prime example of CBP’s intelligence-gathering capabilities and inspections experience,” Andres Guerra, port director, said in a statement.
“People need to realize that committing immigration violations do carry serious consequences and will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
CBP officials offered few details to explain why inspectors suspected the man of fraud.
They said an inspection officer referred the 57-year-old man for a secondary check. He showed a Texas driver’s license and claimed to be a U.S. citizen, and his wife presented a green card.
Officials said inspectors used biometric verification through CBP databases to confirm the woman’s identity — and then discovered the man to be a Mexican citizen. His U.S. birth certificate and Social Security card did not belong to him, according to the agency.
Authorities said further investigation determined that the ID belonged to another man — and that the suspect has used it to assume U.S. citizenship for more than 30 years.
It is unclear how many illegal immigrants may be living as American citizens under the cover of stolen documents.
Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), said the number could be in the millions. She based that on an estimate by the Treasury Department …read more