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Border Officials See Increase In Passport Fraud

Audio

Aired 7/1/10

Federal border officials seized more than 100 fake or fraudulently-obtained passports and travel visas during a week-long crackdown at California's U..S Mexico border crossings.

Federal border officials seized more than 100 fake or fraudulently-obtained passports and travel visas during a week-long crackdown at California's U..S Mexico border crossings.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say they've seen an increase in the number of people trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico using fraudulent U.S. passports and visas during the last year.

As of June 2009, U.S. citizens crossing from Mexico back to the U.S. through land borders have been required to show a passport under a law called WHITI.

Johnny Armijo, with Customs and Border Protection, says smuggling organizations have adapted to the new law.

"Those that are involved in nefarious activity are now using travel documents more often now because of our WHITI mandates," says Armijo.

Armijo says the travel documents smugglers use are often stolen or bought from document vendors.

The U.S. attorney's office will prosecute about four dozen of the cases.

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