By MURRAY WEISS and PHILIP MESSING, NY Post
Cops have busted a Queens phony-green-card ring that preyed on Mexican immigrants - and which was detailed in a Post exposé last year.
About 40 people were nailed over the weekend for operating the illicit business along Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, authorities said.
The investigation, run by the NYPD and State Police, was kick-started by a story by Post reporter Douglas Montero, who went undercover in the summer of 2006 to show how easy it is to obtain false documents in the city, sources said.
"Doug's story is very responsible for this," one source said.
Montero, in his investigation, bought a phony green card and Social Security cards for $110.
Among those busted was the ringleader, who, along with the others, was indicted by the Queens DA's Office. The indictment is to be unsealed today.
In other illegal immigrant news:
An overwhelming 72 percent of New Yorkers - including 59 percent of Democrats - oppose Gov. Spitzer's plan to allow illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses, a new poll shows.
POLL: PLAN UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED
A Mayor With a Tough Stance on Immigration Is on Both Sides Now
By JONATHAN MILLER
Published: October 16, 2007
Mayor Steven M. Lonegan of Bogota once demanded that McDonald’s remove a Spanish-language billboard, and tried to make English the official language of his small New Jersey town. Then he sought to deputize his police force to crack down on illegal immigrants.
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But recently, the conservative Mr. Lonegan — who has gained national attention for his views — suffered an attack of the ironies when the police discovered two illegal immigrants working at a home he owns, prompting critics to heap scorn on him, a onetime candidate for governor and House of Representatives.
He now says the two workers were unfairly singled out, and he is calling for an investigation of his own Police Department for racial profiling — claims that the police chief, Frank Gurnari, called “absurd” yesterday.
But Mr. Lonegan stood his ground. “I’m not going to racially profile employees,” he said. “The real hypocrites are the liberals who are saying that I should have assumed that because they’re Spanish that they’re illegal. That we’re now going to socially stereotype people and assume they’re illegal.”
In fact, Mr. Lonegan said he had come to sympathize with the workers. “These guys need the money,” he said, noting that he agreed to pay them $10 an hour.
Mr. Lonegan — mayor of this town of 7,900 that is 21 percent Hispanic — said he had nothing to apologize for, and he blamed what he called a “racist neighbor” and the federal government for his current plight.
But his critics were not giving any ground.
Tara M. Sharp, a Democratic councilwoman, shrugged off the mayor’s annoyance. “If anyone should not be picking up a day laborer anywhere, it is Mayor Steven Lonegan,” she said in an interview yesterday. “Things have come full circle.”
The matter began Oct. 8, when Mr. Lonegan said he picked up two young men, identified by the police as Elder Chuta and Armando Gomez Santiz, to go to his home to assemble lawn signs for Americans For Prosperity, a national conservative organization that advocates, according to its Web site, “limited government and free markets.” Mr. Lonegan is the state director for the group’s foundation.
He said that the men assured him that they had proper documentation, and that he left them at his home while he went to get working papers to fill out. While he was gone, according to the police, a neighbor noticed “two Hispanic males” in the open garage and called the authorities.
The police questioned the men, who acknowledged that they were illegal immigrants. Mr. Chuta was not charged, but Mr. Santiz was charged with giving a false name that differed from the one on his Mexican identification card. He is scheduled to appear in municipal court on Tuesday.
Mr. Lonegan is no stranger to controversy over his views on immigration. Last year, he called the McDonald’s billboard “offensive” and “divisive,” adding, “The true things that bind us together as neighbors and community is our belief in the American flag and our common language.”
In addition to calling for a boycott of the company, he tried to put a ballot proposal before voters to make English the official language of the town, but was defeated in court.
Ms. Sharp, the councilwoman, said the scrutiny had been “embarrassing for the town,” but Mr. Lonegan fired right back.
“It’s embarrassing that hypocrites are attacking me,” he said. “I’m going to continue hiring any Hispanic who gives me a legal ID, and I’m going to assume they’re legal until anyone can prove otherwise.”
Illegal aliens are here preying on our well know generosity.
So, how is it possible to prey on them?
Green cards, schpeen cards. If you can get a card instantly for a few bucks, that makes the taking advantage of our generosity all the more possible.
No pity for lawbreakers. No pity for illegal aliens. They are not "immigrants"!
This is happening all over our country - the future burden on our already depleting social security system is bewildering.
In many instances like these, unscrupulous lawyers and notaries establish a thriving illicit market for processing undocumented aliens for hefty fees.
There should be stiffer penalties for idiots such as them.
An "immigrant" has legal status.
Anyone else who is walking around
without proper papers is an "illegal alien".....
pure and simple !
Did the perps live in the JH historic district ?
They should be busting the illegal aliens that use them.
Maybe ship them off to the three mile limit
and wish them luck swimming back home!
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