U.S. Supreme Court gives states latitude to prosecute illegal immigrants


The U.S. Supreme Court widened the ability of states to use criminal laws against illegal immigrants and other people who do not have work authorization in the United States in a ruling involving identity theft prosecutions in Kansas.  The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) makes it unlawful to hire an alien knowing that he or she is unauthorized to work in the United States.  It is a federal crime for an employee to provide false information on an I–9 or to use fraudulent documents to show work authorization. But it is not a federal crime for an alien to work without authorization, and state laws criminalizing such conduct are preempted.  Kansas makes it a crime to commit “identity theft” or engage in fraud to obtain a benefit. Respondents, three unauthorized aliens, were tried for fraudulently using another person’s Social Security number on the W–4’s and K–4’s that they submitted upon obtaining employment.  The Kansas statutes under which respondents were convicted are not expressly preempted.

 KANSAS v. GARCIA  https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-834_k53l.pdf

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