Posted on March 21, 2019

Supreme Court to Decide If States Can Prosecute Undocumented Immigrants for Identity Theft

Richard Wolf, USA Today, March 18, 2019


The justices will hear Kansas’ appeal of a lower court’s decision that the federal government has exclusive jurisdiction over such cases — a ruling the Trump administration agrees should be overturned.

The key to the case is the appearance of the false Social Security numbers on a federal immigration form. Kansas and a coalition of 10 other states say they should be able to use that information to combat identity theft.

The Kansas Supreme Court threw out convictions of three undocumented immigrants, ruling that only the federal government could prosecute such cases based on information that comes from the federal form.


Lawyers for the immigrants argued in court papers that allowing states to use federal documents to prosecute undocumented immigrants could lead to discriminatory treatment and an end-run around federal immigration laws.