Human Rights

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‘Breeder Documents’ Most Useful

Some impostors have obtained fake papers by presenting a false birth certificate, called a “breeder document” because it can be used to obtain other fake identification, a fairly effective means of committing fraud. This is how Ressam obtained his passport, authorities say.

state agencies improve birth certificate security, but say the effort could take years and cost a great deal.

Suspected terrorist ringleader Osama bin Laden, believed to be based in Afghanistan, and his associates are suspected by U.S. authorities of attempting to produce counterfeit passports of various countries, and to have obtained official passports from the government of the Sudan.

In the first half of the 1990s, Bosnian authorities reportedly provided Islamic radicals who supported Bosnian Muslims in their conflict against the Serbs with Bosnian passports.

In December 1999, U.S. authorities arrested an Algerian man named Ahmed Ressam as he was driving bomb-making materials into United States. Authorities say he was carrying a fraudulent Canadian passport obtained in Quebec using a false birth certificate. Ressam also used a false French passport to reach Canada for the first time in 1994.

A common method identified for smuggling Chinese into the United States is by using "collapsible corporations." Small sham companies are set up in the United States and China, often consisting of nothing more than a P.O. box, an abandoned building and a single telephone number. The corporations request temporary U.S. work visas for their supposed "employees" - illegal immigrants.

One operation allegedly smuggled 300 Indian nationals into the United States every month for at least three years before the Immigration and Naturalization Service shut it down. The smugglers charged $20,000 per alien.

South Korea:
An Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent, an attorney, and two immigration brokers were indicted in March 1998 for allegedly attempting to bribe an INS officer with $82,100 to obtain U.S. resident alien cards. Thirty-five South Korean families paid a total of $350,000 to purchase the cards.

Sri Lanka:
In February 1999, INS personnel interviewed 190 Sri Lankans detained in the West African nation of Guinea who claimed to have paid between $4,000 and $15,000 to be smuggled into the United States and Canada.


Los Angeles:
In November 1998, INS agents seized more than 2 million counterfeit identification documents found in two storage facilities, including alien cards, Social Security cards, and driver's licenses from nine states.

Before he surrendered to authorities last year, suspected Mexican serial killer Angel Reyes-Resendiz was held by the Immigration and Naturalization Service at least twice in 15 years after allegedly trying to pass himself off as a U.S. citizen. In 1988, he was arrested carrying three social security cards and a false passport