|From Animal New York|
The illicit market for fake identification has made Roosevelt Avenue a destination for decades for underage youths looking for “proof” to enter bars and clubs as well as immigrants looking for a fake green card or Social Security card.
In 2005, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was aware of the problem and was working with law enforcement to prevent false documents from aiding terrorists. State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) has spent nearly a decade trying to remedy the dangerous situation.
His bill to crack down on the fake ID market and other forged official documents was passed unanimously by the state Senate last Friday. The bill toughens the penalties against individuals who manufacture or sell fake IDs, especially government identifications, such as driver’s licenses, passports and Social Security cards.
“This illicit industry does us a lot of harm, and it is still a huge problem in Queens,” Peralta said. “This bill and the new municipal ID program is very bad news for the counterfeit mills operators. We have to crack down on the mills and increase the penalties on these mill operators to eradicate this serious problem.”
The bill prohibits the sale of forged instruments. It also amends the penal code to include the sale and manufacture of government issue documents as a class C felony in the first degree that would carry a penalty of 1 to 15 years behind bars. In addition, it creates the presumption that an individual who possesses two or more forged government documents depicting a person other than him or herself intends to sell those fake documents.