Newsday carried a story about how you can pick up a package of fake IDs for yourself for $300 in Los Angeles. “Around MacArthur Park, sellers who openly offer fake IDs do not actually carry any of the documents. Instead, they negotiate prices as high as $300 for a package containing a driver’s license, Social Security card and green card. Next, they send the buyer to a less crowded area a few blocks away, where a picture is taken and the customer pays up. The picture and cash change hands a few times before arriving at an apartment where a laptop, printer and laminating machine spit out the documents. Within an hour, a runner — perhaps a young man dressed as a student, or an elderly woman — delivers the documents near the site of the original deal.”
Federal authorities in April arrested nearly 1,200 illegal immigrants and a few managers working at IFCO Systems plants from Southern California to New York. More than half of the 5,800 employees at the pallet and crate manufacturing company in 2005 had invalid or mismatched Social Security numbers, authorities said. In the past, authorities could often break up a network by raiding a central “document mill” where Social Security cards, passports and licenses might be drying on a large printing press, said Kevin Jeffery, deputy agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles.Now documents are made with illegal software on laptop computers. That mobility makes them harder to bust.