The Corner

How Did Obama’s Uncle Omar Get a SS#?

The Boston Herald is reporting that the president’s other illegal-alien relative, Uncle Omar Onyango Obama, arrested last week for drunk driving, has  had a valid Social Security number for at least 19 years. Kerry Picket speculates it may just have been a nine-digit ID number made up by state employees for illegal aliens, but it could well be a genuine number, and here’s how: Uncle Omar might have had a visa that permitted work authorization and then simply overstayed, or he may have applied for asylum (which application, before 1995, gave you automatic work authorization) and then not left after he was turned down. In either case, the problem is the same — the Social Security Administration has no means of cancelling or freezing the numbers of temporary visa-holders after their legal period of stay here expires, or the numbers of legal residents who have been deported, say, for criminal activity. That means an overstayer can just keep using his genuine number, and a permanent resident who’s been deported can just sneak back in and resume use of his genuine number.

That’s why Rep. Lamar Smith, who’s ahead of the curve on this sort of thing, has in his E-Verify bill (online here, see section 10, paragraph c) a requirement that DHS block for purposes of verification SSNs held by people who’ve been deported or by temporary workers whose time has expired. Combined with mandatory use of E-Verify for all new hires, this would have prevented the president’s Uncle Omar from getting his liquor store job.

The House Judiciary Committee is set to take up the bill in a couple of weeks, and Uncle Omar’s escapades should make the legislation that much easier to move out of committee.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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