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Federal offices to issue more secure green cards, employment documents
Effort aims to curb fraud
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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will start Monday issuing more secure green cards and employment authorization documents to prevent fraud.

The new cards will have the person’s image on both sides and holographic images. The documents will stop showing the person’s signature, and green cards won’t have an optical stripe on the back.

“These redesigns use enhanced graphics and fraud-resistant security features to create cards that are highly secure and more tamper-resistant than the ones currently in use,” according to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services news release. “The new card designs demonstrate USCIS’ commitment to continue taking a proactive approach against the threat of document tampering and fraud.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Southeast spokesman Bryan Cox did not return a request for statistics regarding fraudulent identification documents in the area.

Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh said a number of cases in his office involve fraudulent identification and employment documents, which has been steady through the years.

Over his legal career, Darragh said a noticeable influx of illegal immigration into the community came in the early 1990s.

“Some cases are discovered because the federal government has contacted actual people and say you owe this amount of money in taxes because you have been working at a particular location in Gainesville, Georgia,” he said.

The victim then contacts law enforcement to investigate, often leading to someone working under another person’s name.

“Most of the cases that we see are people that possess fraudulent cards like a green card for example,” Darragh said. “They usually have purchased them from some other location, like at a flea market or some other person on the street.”

Darragh said there has been minimal manufacturing of fradulent documents in the judicial circuit.