Passports Are Big News – What Should We Learn?
We all know that identity theft is a very serious problem these days and passports are a really big target for those who want to perpetrate this crime. A stolen U.S. passport can be altered and used by a terrorist or spy to freely enter the United States unnoticed. None of us want to make it any easier for someone to do harm to our citizens or our country so perhaps after reading some of these incidents, we will all be more careful with our passports.
Mr. John Skelton who was forty one years old and a British citizen, tried to enter the United States using a passport that was in the name of Kurt Branham. It just so happened that Mr. Branham died in 1994 and prior to his death he served as a legislative aide to a United States senator. It is scary to realize that this stolen identity passport had been successfully used twice before the thief was caught.
Mr. Eugene Todie was a 29-year-old New York resident who was on probation for criminal contempt. His use of a fraudulent passport permitted him to leave and re-enter the United States undetected. When he was caught, he was even wearing an ankle monitor and when asked about it, he said he was a fan of Lindsey Lohan and was simply wearing it in her honor. That was quite a story, but people who break the law in this way are dangerous and must be apprehended.
Speaking of Lindsay Lohan, she has had her own passport issues. She was out of the country and was due to appear in court back in the United States. She did not show up for that appointment and blamed it on her claim that she had lost her passport which prohibited her from returning to the United States. She tried to return to the U.S. without a passport but was turned away. This is a good lesson to each of us and should help us understand that no one is immune to the regulations that govern the use of passports. Her passport renewal emergency was taken care of but she has a big price to pay for her failure to appear in court on time.
It is important that we all realize what an important document a passport is. We must always keep them in safe places and if we should loose one or suspect ours might have been stolen, we need to report it immediately.