Thursday, November 16, 2006

ICE Has Some Explaining To Do

From Denver television station KMGH Channel 7.

Mike Hamilton of Wheat Ridge, Colorado is a 61-year old man with a rare blood disease. He is legally disabled and can’t work.

Mr. Hamilton’s identity has been stolen.

Mr. Hamilton said “If this can happen to me at the age of 61, this can happen to any American. The more I got into it. The angrier I got.”

Mike Hamilton received a letter from the Jefferson County Housing Authority notifying him that he had been employed in 2005. In fact, the document showed that Mr. Hamilton earned nearly $30,000 in 2004 and 2005 and the reported earnings could have made him ineligible for his housing and Social Security benefits.

The problem is Mr. Hamilton hasn’t been able to work since 1989.

The Jefferson County Housing Authority showed Mr. Hamilton’s Social Security Number related to those earnings, reported by two dry cleaners in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Channel 7 News said they confirmed that a woman named Mara Dean was the person using Mr. Hamilton's Social Security number, currently at Palumbo Dry Cleaners in Fort Collins.

Mara Dean appears to be an illegal alien.

Investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski of Channel 7 News went to the dry cleaning store to speak to Mara Dean about her use of Mike Hamilton’s Social Security Number. Kovaleski asked the woman to step out of the store to talk about it, but her employer, Jim Palumbo, stepped in and prevented her from explaining where and how she got the SSN.

Kovaleski then asked Jim Palumbo, the owner of the dry cleaners; "Do you believe that Social Security number is hers?"

"She has a card so I have to believe that," was Palumbo’s answer.

Kovaleski then stated; "You know that Social Security Number is fake."

Jim Palumbo responded: "No, I don’t know that.”

But actually Palumbo does know Mara Dean is using a stolen Social Security Number. A month before, Palumbo signed a document stating that the Social Security number used by Mara Dean actually belongs to Mike Hamilton.

On camera, reporter Tony Kovaleski asked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent Jeff Copp; "If this dry cleaner continues to employ this person is he breaking the law?"

Copp answered: "Yes, he is. He has an employee that he is knowingly employing that does not have the proper documentation.”

Kovaleski then asked the ICE agent; "Do you call that part of the problem?"

Copp answered "Yes, I do."

Jeff Copp is the Special Agent In Charge of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Colorado.

The reporter said that hours before the story aired, he spoke to the business owner, Jim Palumbo again. Palumbo told the reporter that the Mara Dean has a new social security number she picked up recently, and she informed him that the number came from the Social Security Administration.

Palumbo told Channel 7 News that he didn’t call the Social Security Administration to verify if the new card was valid.

Kovaleski said that Immigration and Customs Enforcement told him that an employer can face criminal charges for knowingly keeping an undocumented worker on the payroll.

So, now the Channel 7 News audience knows the story.

ICE knows the story.

What’s being done about it?

Explain to me again how illegal immigrants enhance and support our economy.

Explain to Mike Hamilton how he has benefited from an illegal alien stealing his Social Security Number.

Explain how ICE has known for two months that Mara Dean was using Mike Hamilton’s Social Security Number for two years, and they haven’t arrested her yet.

They haven’t bothered to arrest Jim Palumbo, the business owner either.

As for Mike Hamilton, Channel 7 News says his Social Security benefits are secure for the time being.

Mike Hamilton said "The thought of losing your home, your way of life and an income you depend on. You can't imagine that stress..."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the US Attorney's Office will not prosecute cases like this.
AND there is limited detention space in Colorado for holding immigrant violators.
So the prioroty to arresting and holding aliens is 1. violent criminals 2. repeat offender criminals 3. prior deported convicted criminals 4. prior deported arrested aliens 5. prior deported aliens 6. others, like this lady.

10:52 AM  

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