President Trump’s nominee to head the State Department’s office for refugees wrote last year that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program should pay restitution to Americans for illicit use of Social Security numbers. Ronald Mortensen, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) and former foreign service officer, was tapped by Trump last week to head the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.
At CIS, Mortensen promoted a link between undocumented immigrants and identity theft. “Democrats often assert as fact that immigrants are less likely to commit crime than U.S. citizens,” he wrote in a 2017 op-ed for The Hill as a CIS fellow. “That argument is totally wrong, because the vast majority of adult illegal aliens are committing felonies by virtue of being active in America,” he wrote. “The myth of the law abiding illegal alien is just that: a myth.” Mortensen has argued that most undocumented immigrants, in order to work, use false or stolen Social Security numbers to obtain employment. In October, he wrote that DACA recipients should pay reparations to American victims of identity theft in order to receive the program’s benefits.