Sticky: New “Fake ID’s” Are Not Getting Past ICE’s Forensic Document Lab
Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Fake ID’s can’t get past ICE’s Forensic Document Lab
“The FDL mission has evolved to provide full complement forensic document examination and fingerprint services,” said Marshall Heeger, the lab’s director.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigations often require significant document examination and analysis. Enter the agency’s Forensic Document Lab (FDL). Established in 1978, the lab serves as the authority on determining the authenticity of identity and travel documents.
“You have to know what you’re looking for and think creatively,” said Heeger.
Missing holograms, improper printing techniques and missing security chips are often red flags.
It is highly recommended for organizations with more than 25 employees to have their own employee documents checked or “certified” by a 3rd party employee auditing firm. Form I-9 Auditing employs former DHS and INS agents to identify fraudulent documents. After a “certification” from Form I-9 Auditing, the organizations will be shown to be in “good-standing” or “good-faith” compliance with the ICE guidelines.
Fines after an ICE inspection, similar to an IRS audit, range from $110 to $1,100 per employee for first offenses. Organizations that take a proactive approach to “Certifying” their employee documents are way ahead of the game.
Lab staff can also lift fingerprints from those documents, as well as from evidence like money wrappings, suitcases, weapons and more, to aid ICE special agents in larger investigations.
“The FDL is in a unique position to provide specialized support to ICE and other U.S. and foreign law enforcement agencies, whether it be forensic document examination, fingerprint processing, examination, and identification, or training in identifying fraudulent documents,” said Heeger.
“You’re never going to make a counterfeit proof document. We work with our colleagues to try to make documents counterfeit resistant,” said Heeger.
Not only does ICE enforce the country’s immigration laws, but it is also involved in an array of criminal investigations ranging from drug smuggling to money laundering. Much of that has to do with the expanded mission of ICE.