Hands Bound, States Find Ways to Attack Immigration

Identity theft, other laws used to arrest illegals
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2008 9:13 AM CDT
Protestors pledge allegiance during a protest at the state Capitol to denounce as oppressive a new state law that's designed to fight illegal immigration, in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – You hear a lot less Spanish these days in Milton, Fla. Hispanic immigrants fled the panhandle town after local police raided more than a dozen businesses, arresting at least 27 illegals. Technically, only federal agents can enforce immigration law, but cops around the country have found ways around that problem, the New York Times reports. Milton’s illegals were rounded up for identity theft.

This year has seen police departments across the country arrest hundreds for nonviolent, sometimes minor crimes. Identity theft has become especially popular—a big Iowa raid saw 260 arrested—because many illegals work under stolen Social Security numbers. “It is a way to address illegal immigration without calling it that,” said one anti-immigration advocate. “They don’t just have to sit and wait for Washington.”