Immigrant Uses Dead Veteran's Name To Receive Benefits

| by John Freund
Illegal immigrationIllegal immigration

An illegal immigrant has been receiving federal, state, and local benefits for the past four years by using the identity of a dead man. 

Police claim that Rene Ortiz Quintana has been living illegally in the United States for almost 50 years.  According to ABC News, court records show that the 69-year-old Quintana took the identity of a veteran who had died in 1994 in order to collect his VA benefits, in addition to other state and local benefits.  

Police allege that Quintana obtained an Arizona identification card, a state health card, a Phoenix health plan card, and a VA choice card, all in the name of Ruben J. Gallardo.  The VA choice card allows veterans to receive medical care at Non-VA facilities, due to extreme delays in obtaining such care from VA hospitals. 

Quintana also received Social Security benefits in Gallardo's name.  

All totaled, Quintana received benefits close to $30,000, ABC News reports. 

Pew Research estimates that there are roughly 11.3 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States. That figure makes up 3.5 percent of the total U.S. population.  

Pew also claims that six states make up 60 percent of the total undocumented immigrant population.  Those states are New York, New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Illinois, and California.  According to Pew, 5.1 percent of the U.S. labor force is comprised of undocumented workers -- a total of roughly 8.1 million people.  

Quintana has been charged with fraudulent schemes, theft, and seven counts of identity theft along with six counts of forgery.  

No trial date has been set at this time.  

Sources: ABC News, Pew Research  / Photo Credit: Progressives Today

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