High court to consider state role in prosecuting immigrants

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FILE – In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – 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. Kansas authorities stepped in and obtained a state conviction that could lead to Morales’s deportation.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about whether states can prosecute immigrants like Morales who use other people’s Social Security numbers to get a job.

The 51-year-old Guatemalan immigrant says what he did was to earn money honestly to support his family.

The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the convictions of Morales as well as Mexican immigrants Ramiro Garcia and Guadalupe Ochoa-Lara after concluding the state was seeking to punish immigrants who used fake IDs to work.

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