There seems to be a link between the rising numbers of illegal, or undocumented, aliens in America and the numbers of cases of identity theft targeting Americans.

Identity theft is now the fastest-growing crime in America. With the coming rise in the minimum wage in January 2007, that crime is likely to grow even faster via illegal immigration of those intent upon coming to the USA to work. On Tuesday, December 13, 2006, federal agents rounded up 1,300 meat plant workers in the largest immigration sweep in U.S. history. They pledged Wednesday to continue their war on identity theft perpetrated by illegals.

Homeland Security boss Michael Chertoff hopes that this will send a message to illegal aliens that America intends to cut down the crimes of identity theft. Federal officials will enforce a wider law enforcement effort across the country against fake-ID criminal rings that mass produce documents such as drivers licenses, state ID’s, Social Security cards, birth certificates, passports, and related items.

The immigration sweep Tuesday temporarily shut down Swift & Co. in six different states in “Operation Wagon Train,” a 10-month initiative targeting alleged illegal aliens, false documentation, and even stolen documents – a new twist to the crime. Immigration raids were launched in Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Minnesota, with arrests of individuals from Mexico, Guatemala, and even Sudan. Arrests far exceeded annual totals in recent years, including 500 for 2002, and 4000 in 2006.

Swift & Co. is headquartered in Colorado and is a producer of beef and pork products to the tune of $9 billion in annual sales. Like many large corporations, they are concerned about the rising minimum wage and increased costs of production. They have recently volunteered to take part in a program to verify worker documentation against a national database. Because of this, Swift protested Tuesday’s raids, saying they violated government agreements on the pilot program. However, 1,300 is a lot of illegal workers and these numbers must be reduced to protect legal; workers and citizens of the USA. Considering downsizing and outsourcing, illegal workers and fake or stolen ID’s are seriously affecting the ability of American citizens to earn a living in their own country.

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