Kansas defending one of the oldest state powers

Wednesday, October 16, 2019
 | 
Chad Groening (OneNewsNow.com)

Social Security officeThe head of an immigration reform think tank says a case to be heard by the Supreme Court could go a long way for states to hold immigrants accountable for identity fraud.

Kansas is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the state's highest court rulings that prevent the state from prosecuting illegal aliens for identity theft.

Donaldo Morales caught a break when federal prosecutors declined to charge him after he was arrested for using a fake Social Security card so he could work at a Kansas restaurant. But the break was short-lived when authorities stepped in and obtained a conviction that could lead to Morales's deportation. A state appellate court overturned the conviction, but Kansas appealed, putting the decision in the hands of the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments about whether states can prosecute immigrants like Morales who use other people's Social Security numbers to get a job.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, says the feds tend to look the other way when it comes to illegal aliens.

Krikorian

"It is true that illegal immigrants do get a pass on the kind of identity fraud, tax fraud, and a lot of other crimes that people who aren't illegal immigrants would actually pay a price for," he observes. "And this could well be an example of that."

But Krikorian says Kansas is picking up the ball and running with it.

"It's also a state crime to commit identity fraud and identity theft, and if they get a conviction, it does raise the question of why the federal prosecutor didn't file charges," the immigration issues expert notes.

The Trump administration has filed a brief supporting Kansas, contending that protection against fraud is among the oldest state powers. 

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