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Homeland Security accepts fake ID

From Hussein Saddique
CNN

A man using a fake identification card was able to enter the Department of Homeland Security headquarters in Washington, even though the type of Mexican-issued "matricula consular" card he used is not recognized as valid by the United States government.

Retired New York City policeman Bruce DeCell, who had arranged to meet with DHS officials to lobby for document security, purposely used a forged version of identification that Mexican consulates in the United States issue to their nationals living here illegally, he told CNN.

Undocumented Mexicans can use the cards at banks and other institutions that accept them. The cards are not valid for entry into federal government buildings.

DeCell is a board member of a group called "9/11 Families for a Secure America," which he formed with others after losing his son-in-law in the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York.

His group advocates stricter controls against illegal aliens and wants to ban the use of the matricula cards.

"The card is an unsecure document that could facilitate terrorist money and travel," he said.

DeCell told CNN that a friend in California bought him the fake Mexican card, which he used last week for the Department of Homeland Security meeting.

"I sent him a passport-size photo and the spelling of my name, and he had the card made for me on the street," he said.

Prior to his meeting with DHS officials, DeCell was asked to furnish his name, Social Security number and birth date, so they could be compared by security personnel to a valid form of picture identification. The building security accepted his matricula card, even though it listed a phony date of birth, he said.

"It's obscene in a post 9/11 world that they did not my match name against the fake DOB," DeCell fumed. "They're spending a lot of money (on security) for nothing!"

Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for DHS, told CNN, "In response to this incident, we are following up on the allegations and we seek to ensure that an incident like this does not occur again. ...

"At no time was there a threat to the DHS building or its personnel."

DeCell said he has used the card for years in airports and other sensitive locations, but was still astonished that he was able to use it to enter the headquarters of the DHS, the federal agency charged with determining secure IDs.

"It's very frustrating," he told CNN. "I'm an unpaid citizen who had a loss on 9/11, and they're not doing what they need to do to prevent another 9/11. It's very discouraging for me."

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