With Puerto Rico in the news this week, a reader pointed me to an article about Ruerto Rican birth certificates, which account for an astounding 40% of all fradulent U.S. Passports. The Puerto Rican goverment will declare all Puerto Rican birth certificates invalid as of July 1, 2010. Citizens must reapply for a valid birth certificate.
Only 45,622 children were born in Puerto Rico in 2008, according to the National Center for Health Statistcs. But more than 860,000 certified copies of birth certificates were issued by the Puerto Rican Office of Vital Statistics the same year, According to the Office of Management and Budget.By invalidating every Puerto Rican birth certificate, the government hopes to combat the island's growing and significant fraud and identity theft. As of July 1, everyone wanting a Puerto Rican birth certificate must reapply. Sounds like a nightmare in the making.
This comment was left on my blog by Political Jules:
Each of Puerto Rico's 4 million residents and the estimated 1.2 million Puerto Rico-born Americans living in the 50 states will have to apply for new vital documents to legally prove that they exist and remain eligible for government benefits....Latina.com March 2010:
The U.S. State Department and Homeland Security Department estimate that an astonishing 40 percent of all U.S. passport fraud cases in recent years involved Puerto Rican birth certificates, though exact numbers are unknown....
"The birth certificates are so believable, the passports are so believable that even seasoned cops are fooled by it until they ask certain questions like, 'what's the national animal?" he said. "It's a frog...but that stupid phrase has gotten more people caught with fake documents."...
Only 45,622 children were born in Puerto Rico in 2008, according to the National Center for Health Statistcs. But more than 860,000 certified copies of birth certificates were issued by the Puerto Rican Office of Vital Statistics the same year, According to the Office of Management and Budget.
Many of the 4.1 million Latinos of Puerto Rican descent who live stateside are reacting with confusion and surprise upon realizing that their birth certificates are no longer valid forms of identification. All Puerto Ricans are United States citizens at birth due to the island's unique status as an American commonwealth...This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the Puerto Rico Democracy Act, which passed, and which grants "self-determination" of the island's status with America. Puerto Rico has the right to determine whether they will remain a territory of the U.S. or become our 51st state, but there are some questioning how the question will be asked of the citizens, and speculations that the Puerto Rico Democracy Act was unnecessary, and lays groundwork to give Puerto Ricans fewer choices than in the past, when they have voted to remain a territory. Read more about it here. (Thanks to Political Jules for the tip)