Puerto Rico Voids Birth Certificates

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The government of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico has taken the unprecedented step of voiding all birth certificates issued before July 1.

Officials have asked Puerto Rican citizens to apply for new birth certificates with increased security features. The move comes in response to the country's widespread problem of identity theft.

According to the U.S. State Department, thousands of stolen Puerto Rican birth documents have been used by illegal immigrants as proof of American citizenship. The Hispanic last names are an ideal cover for immigrants from Latin America.

Laura Gonzalez, a native of Puerto Rico, told Buffalo, N.Y.'s WIVP that the idea of becoming a victim is terrifying.

"They can apply for a drivers license in my name. They can go to the bank and steal my money. They could ruin everything," explained Gonzalez.

According to newspaper The Republican, current birth certificates will remain valid until Sept. 30.

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