MIAMI – Many Americans angered by the surge of illegal immigrants (search) who feel their tips are ignored by the federal system are now using the Internet to report suspected illegal aliens, and paying a fee.
The nation’s first for-profit tip site, Reportillegals.com, charges users $10 per lead. The site claims to take all legitimate information received and turn it over to federal agents, which they say creates a paper trail and frees the users from the hassle of doing it themselves.
Immigration officials don't endorse the site and say citizens should be vigilant, not vigilantes. They point out that all Americans can report suspected illegal aliens to their local tip center — for free.
"We need real information. We need to validate that information. We need to have our federal law enforcement officers who are trained to be able to receive that information," said Russ Knocke, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
However, immigration reform groups argue the federal system is ineffective when it comes to taking tips from Americans about foreign citizens living in the U.S. illegally.
“People have tried to report these incidents or suspicions to federal immigration authorities and either they can't get through on the phone or if they get through to some tip-line or leave a message — the message is ignored,” Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Click on the video box above to see a video report by FOX News' Orlando Salinas.