Sunday, February 28, 2010

Shock over voided Puerto Rican birth certificates

Puerto Rico birth certificate

Bet you are sure as hell happy you weren't born in Puerto Rico. Go Sharks*!

This is gonna be one fucking hassle. It will also undoubtedly put a huge strain on the Pueto Rican embassy in NYC.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Native Puerto Ricans living outside the island territory are reacting with surprise and confusion after learning their birth certificates will become no good this summer.

A law enacted by Puerto Rico in December mainly to combat identity theft invalidates as of July 1 all previously issued Puerto Rican birth certificates. That means more than a third of the 4.1 million people of Puerto Rican descent living in the 50 states must arrange to get new certificates.

[snip]

People born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, are U.S. citizens at birth. Anyone using a stolen Puerto Rico birth certificate could enter and move about the U.S. more easily, which could also pose security problems.

Puerto Rico's legislature passed the law after raids last March broke up a criminal ring that had stolen thousands of birth certificates and other identifying documents from several different schools in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans on average get about 20 copies of their birth certificates over their lifetimes, said Kenneth McClintock Hernandez, the commonwealth's secretary of state.

This is because they are regularly asked to produce them for such events as enrolling children in school or joining sports leagues. Schools and other institutions have typically kept copies, a practice prohibited under the new law since January, McClintock said.

As much as 40 percent of the identity fraud in the U.S. involves birth certificates from Puerto Rico, McClintock said he was told by the State Department.

And all this hassle is falling on people who've done nothing wrong. They simply provided their birth certificates when required to do so.

And and speaking of hassles, what about all the poor clerks in Puerto Rico who have to issue millions [?] of birth certificates in one enormous flood?

* Yes, its a reference to West Side Story.


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