Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Supreme Court Gives States Greater Rights to Prosecute Undocumented Immigrants

Photo: will dunham/Reuters
Justices split over the case, which concerns identity theft by undocumented immigrants who provide false Social Security numbers on job applications
A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday boosted the ability of states to prosecute undocumented immigrants for identity theft when they provide false Social Security numbers or other information on job applications.
The court, in a 5-4 opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, reinstated convictions obtained by Kansas prosecutors against three restaurant workers for using other people’s Social Security numbers on forms given to their employers.
The central question in the case, Kansas v. Garcia, was whether such state prosecutions were barred by a provision of federal immigration law that says any information submitted with federal work-authorization forms can’t be used for state law-enforcement purposes.
Justice Alito, writing for a conservative majority, said the answer was no. The mere fact that Kansas law on identity theft overlapped with federal law “does not even begin to make a case” that the state’s prosecutorial efforts should be pre-empted, he wrote.
“In the present cases, there is certainly no suggestion that the Kansas prosecutions frustrated any federal interests,” Justice Alito said. Joining him in the majority were Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
Read the rest from the WSJ HERE.

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