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There are many Web sites on the Internet that tell people how to report illegal immigrants. Most groups sponsoring those sites direct concerned residents to a government-sponsored, free tip line.
But one business gaining notoriety goes a step further and offers to act, for a fee, as the middleman between citizens and federal authorities.
The Web-based service charges customers $10 to file reports with federal agencies about suspected illegal immigrants.
Immigrant-rights groups say they are concerned about the business because they believe it could stir anger aimed at illegal immigrants.
Dave Caulkett, a Florida man, founded the private, for-profit Web site, called ReportIllegals.com. It aims, he said, to facilitate reporting illegal immigrants and business owners who hire them to federal authorities, including the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
Caulkett’s site has been around for about a year, but recently the service has received national and international media attention, causing business to skyrocket, Caulkett said in a phone recent interview with the North County Times.
Caulkett wouldn’t say how many hits his site had received, but did say his business tripled after a story about the Web site ran in the Orange County Register.
“It’s not a lucrative business, but it’s getting to be,” he said.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s free tip line is (866) 347-2423.
(Posted on December 30, 2004)