Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, getting a fake ID, including fake green cards, drivers’ licenses, and social security cards, can be as simple as walking down the right street, having some cash, and a couple hours to burn. However, getting any sort of fake government identification can result in serious criminal penalties that include jail time.
For immigrants, the risks can be even greater. After facing felony criminal charges, an immigrant convicted of obtaining a fake green card, or other government document, is likely to face removal or deportation, after completing a jail sentence. This is due to the fact that possessing fake government documentation is considered fraud, and fraud is considered a crime of moral turpitude, and those types of crime constitute cause for deportation.
Don’t Fake It Till You Make It
Many immigrants will enter the country on a visa that does not permit them to work, such as a tourist or student visa. Unfortunately, for many immigrants, the legal documentation that permits individuals to work can be difficult to obtain. In order to get by, many immigrants are compelled out of necessity to obtain fraudulent documentation so an employer can hire them because, under federal law, an employer commits an illegal act when they hire someone not legally authorized to work.
This puts many immigrants between a rock and a hard place. Being unable to work means an immigrant may be unable to provide themselves food or shelter, or even be able to afford to leave the country. However, obtaining fraudulent documentation can result in criminal prosecution and deportation.
Legal Help Is Available
While immigration laws make it difficult for immigrants without the proper documentation, legal help may be available. For individuals who are considering obtaining fraudulent documents, speaking with a qualified immigration attorney before taking any steps that could jeopardize your future is a good idea. There may be alternatives in your area for earning money, or at least subsisting, that do not require obtaining fraudulent paperwork.
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- New York State to Provide Lawyers for All Detained Immigrants (FindLaw’s Law and Daily Life)
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- How to Fight Wrongful Deportation (FindLaw’s Law and Daily Life)