Border guards failed to detect fake IDs

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Border guards failed to detect fake IDs

WASHINGTON (CNN) They carried fake IDs and used phony names. But the ne’er do wells actually plain clothed government investigators were able to get into the United States anyway. border crossings they checked. In three instances, border officials did not even ask to see identification, the GAO said.

As a result, terrorists or criminals can “pass freely into the United States . with little or no chance of being detected,” the GAO concludes in testimony to be delivered Wednesday to the Senate Finance Committee.

Investigators said they used ordinary computers and readily available software to create the counterfeit driver’s licenses and documents. They traveled to checkpoints along the northern and southern borders, testing sites in California, Texas, Arizona, Michigan, New York, Idaho, and Washington state.

In all nine tests, fake id Customs and Border Protection agents “never questioned the authenticity of the counterfeit documents,” the GAO said.

Similar tests in 2003 had similar results: Agents made repeated border crossings using fake IDs. But during a separate set of tests in late 2003 and 2004, they were denied entry on one occasion when a border agent saw that an ID had expired.

The Department of Homeland Security says it has trained border agents to spot fake documents and that they intercepted more than 75,000 last year. But the job is complicated by the huge variety of legitimate documents: More than 8,000 are used to enter the country, including easy to forge licenses and birth certificates. scannable fake ids

A law requiring travelers entering the United States to present passports or other secure documents is slated to take effect in 2008, but some members of Congress are trying to delay that law.

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