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Expert: A Supreme Court Ruling Could Cut Both Ways on Immigration

October 17, 2019 (1 min read)

Ariane de Vogue, CNN, Oct. 16, 2019

"Wednesday's case concerns whether immigrants who stole Social Security numbers in an attempt to gain employment could be prosecuted under state identity theft law. In general, when it comes to immigration, federal law regulating a certain area preempts or supersedes state law in order to avoid a patchwork of different regulations across the country. Wednesday's arguments raised the question of how far a state can go when applying its law without interfering with federal law. At oral arguments, some of the justices questioned whether Kansas, in prosecuting immigrants under state fraud law, encroached on an area reserved for the federal government. ... Although the court is likely to issue a narrow ruling focused on the issue of employment authorization, some experts say that a win for Kansas could open the doors for other states' efforts to regulate immigration. "What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration professor at Cornell Law School. "If the Supreme Court rules that federal government no longer as sole responsibility for regulating immigration, lower courts may uphold pro-immigrant or sanctuary or non cooperation polices enacted by states and localities," he said."