I was reading Two lives, one Social Security number, and... I'm curious... what's your opinion on it?
My opinion, I think, depends on the following two questions:
What is the point of distinguishing citizens from non-citizens? Non-citizens and citizens alike both will probably still be paying taxes. Non-citizens do so through sales tax and if they're employed illegally, they still pay income tax according to the above article.
Do governments call people citizens chiefly for the purpose of tracking their movements more easily?
Two more things. Why don't illegal aliens just get a green card or something? I think the bar for becoming an actual US citizen is maybe unreasonably high (I think it has, for some people, taken upwards of around twenty years), but what about for green cards?
It's like... if I needed $100.00, I could rob somebody or I could just withdraw it from my bank. If the latter was an option for someone, it'd be hard to have sympathy for them if they did the former. Similarly, if getting a green card is a viable option, I wouldn't have much sympathy for illegal aliens. If the green card issuing agency were horribly corrupt, though, then I might be more sympathetic, although that still doesn't necessarily excuse it.
Also, I'm not really sure why people would cross the border illegally, anyway? In the US, getting a passport is quite easy. Assuming it's just as easy in Mexico, why not get a passport, cross the border at a legitimate check point, and then just not leave? Doing so would mean you wouldn't have to deal with so-called coyotes, who, according to the wikipedia article on them, are highly prone to extorting people. I guess maybe you'd need to deal with one to get a social security number, although with almost 300,000,000 people (I'm assuming each of these people has an ssn) and 1,000,000,000 possible social security numbers, guessing a valid ssn shouldn't be all that difficult.
As for the msnbc.com article... I think it's dumb that the Holli in the article can't get information on the other person using her account, seeing as how it is her account. And the government complicity is kinda annoying, too, although not entirely surprising, I suppose. I wouldn't expect the police to help a high school student out if someone stole their $100.00 graphing calculator. And what are the consequences of people using your SSN? I suspect that these consequences could be quite severe. Maybe someone does a background check and you get denied jobs because someone's using your SSN as if it were somehow your fault even when it isn't.