Desert Invasion - U.S.


Illegal immigrants got licenses to transport hazardous material

WASHINGTON - A federal crackdown on fraud at state motor vehicle departments across the country has nabbed more than a dozen illegal immigrants licensed to transport hazardous materials.

While none of those apprehended has any known links to terrorism, federal agents said Thursday that the recent busts have revealed a significant threat to homeland security. In one case, a Pakistani man ordered to leave the United States nine years ago was instead driving a tanker truck filled with gasoline for Exxon.

"This is a national security issue," said Elissa Brown, the special agent in charge of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's office in Chicago, where six men were taken into custody.

"Illegal aliens should not have the freedom to transport hazardous materials throughout the United States."

The Department of Homeland Security has begun deportation proceedings against the six illegal immigrants in Chicago, who'd obtained commercial drivers' licenses that allowed them to carry hazardous materials. The men are from Belize, Jordan, Mexico, Mongolia and the Philippines....

In Florida, more than 100 people have been arrested since late April - including three Florida motor vehicle department employees - for distributing some 2,000 drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants as part of massive fraud ring. Thirteen of them were hazardous material commercial drivers' licenses, officials said. Some of those arrested had been convicted on weapons or drug charges or for reckless driving....

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