U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers report an upswing in so-called impostors and fraudulent document cases at U.S. ports of entry as the government has increased border enforcement and cracked down on illegal crossings, reports the Houston Chronicle. The number of people caught at the nation’s ports of entry with fraudulent, stolen or purchased documents grew from about 23,500 in 2006 to more than 28,000 in 2008 .
During the 2008 fiscal year, the U.S. reported 1,803 new immigration prosecutions for fraud and misuse of visas and other documents, says the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University. That is up 194 percent from 2001, when the government reported 614 such prosecutions, the data show. William Molaski, director of the U.S. port of entry in El Paso, attributed the increase in detection of fraudulent and impostor documents to a number of factors, including improved technology and training at the ports, and a reduction in the number of acceptable identification documents travelers can use to prove their citizenship.