Supremes Take On ID Fraud, Undocumented Immigrants

Social Security card identity theft

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over states’ ability to prosecute illegal immigrants for identity theft if they use someone else’s Social Security number to get a job.

According to a report in Bloomberg, the justices said they will rule on whether the Supreme Court in Kansas was correct in determining that only the federal government has the power to go after undocumented immigrants for those types of infractions. Kansas and the Trump administration have been pushing for the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, reported Bloomberg.

If Kansas wins, states will have a new way to fight illegal immigration. The court is slated to hear the case during the nine-month term that kicks off in October. The state argues the case has more to do with identity theft than illegal immigration.

Kansas is trying to reinstate the convictions of three men who used another person’s Social Security number to get restaurant jobs. When the Supreme Court in Kansas threw out the convictions it cited the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act that prevents states from prosecuting based on what is in the form employer’s use to verify if a person is eligible to work in the country. “It is Congress’s plain and clear expression of its intent to preempt the use of the I-9 form and any information contained in the I-9 for purposes other than those listed,” the Kansas Supreme Court said in one of the cases, according to the report. U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argued before the Kansas Supreme Court that the identity theft law doesn’t regulate employment, but it does regulate the use of someone else’s Social Security for the purpose of fraud, noted the report.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in court papers that identify crime is a problem that the federal government alone can not prosecute. The Trump administration also disagrees with the Kansas top court, saying state prosecutions would not interfere with federal efforts or authority.


Exclusive PYMNTS Study: 

The Future Of Unattended Retail Report: Vending As The New Contextual Commerce, a PYMNTS and USA Technologies collaboration, details the findings from a survey of 2,325 U.S. consumers about their experiences with shopping via unattended retail channels and their interest in using them going forward.