As if the country’s monstrous immigration crisis weren’t dire enough, an increasing number of illegal aliens are using fake Puerto Rican birth certificates to obtain authentic U.S. passports and driver’s licenses.
Located about 1,000 miles southeast of Florida, Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory about two decades after the Caribbean island was acquired from Spain at the end of the Spanish-American war. Puerto Ricans are American citizens at birth though they don’t have the right to vote in federal elections and the island has only one non-voting representative in Congress.
In recent years a record number of Puerto Ricans have left their troubled island for the U.S. and a big chunk has settled on Florida. A few months ago a study found that the island’s ongoing economic recession has led to a mass exodus not seen in more than five decades. In 2014 alone 84,000 people left Puerto Rico for the U.S. mainland, the study found. One recent news report referred to the Puerto Rican crisis as an economic exodus that could push two-thirds of its population to live in the U.S. The island has an eye-popping $73 billion debt, a collapsing healthcare system and nearly half of its population living in poverty.
It’s fair to say that for years Uncle Sam has welcomed Puerto Ricans with open arms and that has created lots of opportunities for fraud. There has been a rise in the number of cases involving the use of false Puerto Rican birth certificates by illegal immigrants, according to a south Florida newspaper report that focuses on the specifics of a recent case. It involves an illegal alien from Colombia arrested in Florida after trying to get a U.S. passport by claiming to be an American citizen born in Puerto Rico. The 35-year-old man, Edinson Canaveral Sánchez, used a fake Puerto Rican birth certificate to get a valid Florida driver’s license more than three years ago.