The Department of Justice (DOJ) has historically been horrific about prosecuting cases of fraud, waste, and abuse. Somehow, they are even worse when it comes to cases involving illegal immigrants. It’s as if they have an agenda to provide them with as many breaks as possible. Like a break will mean they finally crack illegal immigration, and they can save America.
For 59-year-old Fernando Arroyo-Alonso, last week proved to be the week that proved to be untrue for him. He was sentenced to one day and one year in federal prison for his conviction as a result of stealing the Social Security Number (SSN) of a US Armed Forces Veteran.
Per a press release from the DOJ “The defendant was arrested in Warren County in May 2021 for misusing a Social Security number. According to court documents, in May 2019, Arroyo-Alonso submitted an online application for Title XVI Supplemental Security Income benefits using the identity of a disabled veteran who also receives Title XVI Supplemental Security Income and Veterans Affairs benefits.”
It seems that the defendant helped himself to quite a bit from the victim — not only a Social Security number but also an Ohio driver’s license. And yet, the victim doesn’t even live in Ohio. Arroyo-Alonso simply did all he could with the victim’s identity.
And, after serving his sentence of one day and one year, he’ll be deported back to Mexico.
This idea of using someone else’s SSN is already sickening, but the fact that he was able to pull this off using the identity of someone who is in multiple state and federal systems as a disabled veteran is absolutely awe-inspiring in the most negative of ways possible. While we need fail-safes for your everyday America, having extra ones for our veterans would be a smart idea.
Veterans are among the most targeted group of individuals in this country for fraud. Many of them are senior citizens, a majority are disabled, receive monthly checks for their disabilities, and as a result, many receive free medical care. There isn’t much to prevent thieves from taking advantage of them and their benefits through identity theft. While redundant systems exist, they aren’t very thorough or protected.
This is not a surprising fact, though. As Breitbart reports “A federal audit in 2020 revealed that nearly 400,000 Americans have unknowingly had their identities stolen, typically by illegal aliens, and were never notified by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In 2019, federal auditors said they discovered more than 883,000 cases of employment identity theft after reviewing more than a million tax returns. Of those cases, 393,000 identity theft victims were never notified by the IRS, including more than 133,000 children whose parents remain unaware of their child’s stolen identity.”
This disgusting trend needs to end soon. Our veterans and the American people as a whole are at great risk of losing their identities at nearly every turn. We need to protect them and ensure they have an opportunity to achieve safety and security through proper protection steps to ensure the people most vulnerable to an attack are not left facing insurmountable debts, fraudulent charges, or other problems that can be easily prevented.
In the coming years, this is something the Department of Veteran’s Affairs will need to look into more closely. The time for a change in how we protect information, protect our veterans, and keep illegal immigrants from stealing our services is long overdue.