Last Friday in Sacramento, a federal jury found Mexican national Gustavo Araujo Lerma guilty of identity theft, passport fraud and five counts of voting by an alien. The case proved unusual in several ways, including the timing
According to the U.S. Attorney, Lerma was born in Mexico in 1955 and in the early 1990s, “acquired and began fraudulently using the identity of a United States citizen named Hiram Velez. Lerma used the Velez identity to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports and to vote in federal elections.” The Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. State Department uncovered the fraud.
Ripping off the identity of the dead, dramatized in The Day of The Jackal, is a crime that predates the computer age. That was well underway in the 1990s, so legitimate citizens might wonder why it took so long to bag Lerma. Once he had stolen the identity of Hiram Velez, the Mexican compounded the crime.
He remarried his Mexican wife in Los Angeles so she and his children could gain legal resident status. Lerma also voted illegally for the past 20 years, including federal elections from 2012 to 2016.
During the trial, Lerma claimed he didn’t know where and when he was born because he was found on the streets of San Antonio at the age of five. The Mexican national also claimed he was a supporter of President Trump, and contributed to the Republican party. In media accounts the defendant emerged as an “Avowed Trump Supporter,” so the establishment media was willing to accept the Mexican’s testimony as truthful. The jury wasn’t and found the identity thief guilty on all counts.
The Mexican national faces a mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for passport fraud, and a maximum of one year in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of voting by an alien. The voter-fraud charge is of particular interest in California.
By the reckoning of attorney general Xavier Becerra, once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as a running mate, there are more than 10 million “immigrants,” government code for illegals, in California. The state DMV “motor voter” program put one million “new” voters on the rolls by 2018.
According to secretary of state Alex Padilla, there were only six “inadvertently registered” for last year’s midterms and none was guilty of “fraudulently voting or attempting to vote.” After the 2016 election, Padilla refused to release any voter information to a federal voter-fraud probe.
So the number of fraudulent votes, like those of identity thief Gustavo Araujo Lerma, could easily run into the millions. As another federal agency shows, uncovering false documents is not a difficult matter.
In 2017, Mexican nationals calling themselves Hugo Mejia and Rodrigo Nuñez came to work on a hospital at Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, California. When base security personnel scanned the Mexicans’ ID numbers, “the information came back false.” Travis officials immediately summoned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and both false-documented illegals were taken into custody. In similar style, cross-checking passport applications with birth and death records can now be accomplished swiftly, with good reason.
“Document and benefit fraud poses a severe threat to national security and public safety,” ICE explains, “because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States.” Gustavo Araujo Lerma demonstrates document fraud and benefit fraud is “the misrepresentation or omission of facts on an application to obtain an immigration benefit one is not entitled to, such as U.S. citizenship, political asylum or a valid visa.”
As with Gustavo Araujo, the DOJ needs to confirm how many false-documented illegals are voting in federal, state and local elections. Maybe some illegals are even running for office.
The Mexican Lerma claimed he didn’t know where and when he was born. This recalls the claim of former California senate boss Kevin de Leon, whose name on voter rolls is Kevin Alexander Leon, that his father was a Chinese cook born in Guatemala. The mysterious De Leon, who acknowledges that half his family practiced document fraud, failed in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein last year.
That makes a case for ironclad candidate identification, as well as voter identification. As Democrats are fond of saying, nobody is above the law.
Meanwhile, on November 26, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez, an appointee of George H.W. Bush, will pass sentence on convicted identity thief and illegal voter Gustavo Araujo Lerma. Legal immigrants, legal voters, and legitimate citizens across the country have good cause to watch closely.
In 2018, Mendez, ruled against a U.S. Department of Justice request to block Senate Bill 54, California’s sanctuary law. Authored by Kevin de Leon, SB 54 is the measure that has made false-documented illegals like Gustavo Araujo Lerma a privileged, protected class in California.
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