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Nov. 16 2009 - 4:46 pm | 763 views | 0 recommendations | 2 comments

How To Get A Black Market Green Card

greencard(1)_1In her November 13th speech, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano called for an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy in 2010. Tea Party Patriots took this as a rally cry. Lou Dobbs threaten to come out of retirement. (Not really.) The move has rekindled the immigration flame over who’s legal and who’s illegal in this country. 

Issued by the INS, Green Cards are the essential documents needed to verify immigrants as resident aliens with the legal right to work in the United States. With an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants nationwide a Green Card is like gold for those questing the American dream.

I shall greatly speed up the process. In order to reap the fruits of prosperity in this land of plenty, I want a Green Card by mid-afternoon-no later! That’s right, I’m going to obtain a black market Green Card! Not only that, but I’m going to use the black market green card to obtain a job with the SF Ballet! 

Follow the jump for the rest of the story…….



TV Host Gary Collins Arrested in L_A_[3]

Besides being thrown in jail, deported, or heavily fined for obtaining a fake Green Card, a Las Vegas-based syndicate recently tried to muscle in on the San Francisco and New York markets, creating the same gang dynamics of the drug trade with the fake Green Card industry.  Thus, I’m weirdly nervous. Will this be hard? Is there an “initiation,” or “test.” Will I get a beat down, before I’m allowed to buy a fake Green Card? Am I going to be the patsy in an elaborate police sting operation?




The counterfeit Green Card boom kicked off in 1986 when the Federal law required all employers to verify legal status before hiring an employee-if immigrants couldn’t present a Green Card that equaled no job! Employers now aren’t required to verify the validity of immigration documents-many chose not to being they want to exploit the cheap labor force. My quest for the American dream has taken me to the Mission District of San Francisco with its 99-cent stores, churro vendors, check cashing places, and plentiful Taquerias.

Posing as Canadian illegal alien, Chad Polochuk-a Canadian who has illegally crossed our Northern border-I’ve recruited a Mexican friend of mine to help with the translation process and to give validity to my honky-cracker-gringo Green Card pursuit (Canadians aren’t really seen waiting at Home Depot with the other day laborers). A friend of hers just came over from Guadalajara and tipped her off that in front of photo and passport places is where you should go to get fake Green Cards.




As long as there is a demand to become a working American, there will those who sell black market Green Cards. In the Mission, outside of most photo and passport places you’ll find pairs of men standing in front occasionally throwing out, “Micas? Micas?” (Street-slang for Green Card.) These are the ambassadors to black market Green Cards.  Sauntering towards 21st and Mission Street, a Latino guy wearing a down jacket and baseball cap, stands in front of a passport photo place, suspiciously hanging out. We pass. He blurts, “Micas? Micas?”   We turn. He initiates eye contact.

A brief exchange in Spanish: “My friend is from Canada,” she explains. “He’s looking for a Green Card.” The guy breaks into a friendly grin-he knows he has a customer.

“OK,” he says, not questioning whether I might be an undercover cop-showing no fear of being busted. How can the police not catch on to this-I’m no Columbo yet I’m aware of it.




Some photo places will actually give a small percentage to those who sell black market Green Cards. After all, they bring in a fresh supply of regular, steady customers. For today, the black market prices go as such: $25-Fake Green Card $25-Fake Social Security Card $10-Real Passport Photo (For fake Green Card) Depending on the quality prices could sometimes range up to several hundreds of dollars. I think I’m getting the fake Green Card WalMart-knockoff.

Immediately I’m escorted inside the passport photo place to get a picture taken for my phony Green Card. My black market ambassador gives a familiar nod to the store’s proprietor-he clearly knows what’s going on.

“Is it ok to get just the Green Card, eh?” I ask in fabricated Canadian accent. 

“No business!” my black market ambassador coldly snaps.

Due to the risk it’s a package deal-you can’t just buy one fake government identification card.  Upon Green Card photo-session-completion, my black-market ambassador hands me a white envelope.

“Sign your name and write your birthday,” he requests. “It’s for the Green Card.” 

I boldly jot Chad Polochuk. With the transaction finalized: “I’m Roberto. Here’s my cell phone number,” he says scribbling the info into my notebook. “Come back at 2pm!”  

This is exciting. I’m wheeling and dealing on the black market for phony government documents! I bet within these circles I could maybe buy someone’s kidney! 




How it all works? Uncut, blank, phony document stock smuggled in from Mexico, a scanner, typewriter, laminator, and cutting board, are all tools of the document forger. A phony Social Security card’s foundation-paper with light-blue marbling over a white background-can be bought at almost any art-supply store. Each 8-1/2-by-11-inch sheet of light-blue paper makes eight fake Social Security cards.

The result provides any new or immigrant (or terrorist) the documentation needed (though I doubt Al Qaeda searches for guys in front of a photo place, muttering, “Micas! Micas!”). The ability to work and make minimum wage in the U.S. is a dream for many immigrants. This dream will come true for me in a two-hour turnaround time.




All the Green Card orders for the morning are done at one time. Thus you might find groups of other eager customers patiently waiting amongst you for their immediate right to the American Dream.

When I return at 2pm, Roberto stands in front of Fashion Emporium. There’s a bustle of activity with four others now encircling the passport photo place.   “5 minutes! 5 minutes!” he shouts from across the street, making exaggerated hand signals to stay where I am.  Two well-dressed Chinese gentlemen are also waiting; anxiously shifting. Their attention is also focused on Roberto who gets on his cell phone and frantically paces up and down the block.  A guy with the silver dollar sign hat-slightly scarier than friendly Roberto-ventures across the street. He stands behind us muttering “Micas? Micas?” 

Twenty minutes later still no black market Green Card. Impatient the two Chinese gentlemen look mildly concerned. Many paranoid questions race through my mind. Can the police arrest us for this? Will the judge make an example out of me? Did I leave the iron on in my house?!

Suddenly a large red pickup truck pulls into a parking spot, igniting a flurry of activity. Like a covert military operation, Roberto runs towards the vehicle and sticks his head into the truck’s driver’s side window. After a few minutes he runs back across the street and into the passport photo place. Emerging several minutes later, Roberto makes his way over, quickly handing me the envelope with my signature on it, containing two pieces of newly constructed government identification. 

“Do I give you the money here?” I ask.

“Yes!” he says with a sense of urgency.

“Can I open a bank account with this or get a drivers license?”

“No, it’s just for work!”

“How about a Blockbuster membership?”


Not one for chit-chat while making a black market transaction in open, broad daylight, Roberto then walks away very fast, disappearing in the Saturday afternoon crowd.



 Going the forged green card route surely beats standing outside Home Depot vying with dozens of others for a day labor gig. Even an unskilled worker making $8 an hour still earns substantially more than many back home. In addition, landing a job, even with illegal documentation, can lead to eventual permanent status if the employer files a petition.   

My Green Card, which boasts on the back “Person Identified By This Card Is Entitled To Reside Permanently And Work In The U.S,” is adorned with some person’s smudged fingerprint, my forged signature, and has sort of cloudy blotches within the lamination. My Social Security card is cut at an ill regular angle.  I guess this would work, if I applied for a job in a poorly lit room or cave. Regardless, I now possess a passable ID that separates immigrants around the world from working in the land of Air Jordans.

What people in other countries dream of, I just obtained effortlessly for $50 (plus $10 for the passport photo).  I’m now legal to work in America!




Most employers require you to fill out an Employment Eligibility Verification sheet. Like a Chinese menu, it allows to choose from three columns of federally approved identification that states you’re legal to work in the USA.  The top of the page reads: I am aware that Federal law provides for imprisonment and/or fine for false statements or fake documents in connection with the completion of this form.

With my fake Green, and spanking brand new phony Social Security Card, Canadian illegal alien Chad Polochuk will now land a job. To test the validity of my $50 investment, I apply with the San Francisco Ballet and their crack team of telemarketers.  The SF Ballet interviewer closely examines each piece of fake I.D. (discolored Social Security card, cloudy laminated Green Card); dancing the tango of legal/illegal. She gives a good, hard look. After a few moments, she tells me to report for training tomorrow morning at 9:30am. 

“This is the first job I’ve had outside of Canada,” I gleam from ear-to-ear.  The fruits of America will soon to be mine………..I just hope I don’t get deported!


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    About Me

    I am the author of six books including, The American Dream, Republican Like Me, and National Lampoon's Road Trip USA.

    My writing has appeared in such places as Esquire, Huffington Post, Penthouse, Salon, and Maxim.

    I've appeared on The Howard Stern Show, Last Call With Carson Daly, as well as the Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Montreal Comedy Festivals.

    See my profile »
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    Contributor Since: November 2008
    Location:San Francisco