Federal judge: Arizona can’t prosecute illegals for seeking work using fraudulent documentation

Federal judge: Arizona can’t prosecute illegals for seeking work using fraudulent documentation

[Ed. – But don’t worry, legal citizens; Arizona can still prosecute you.]

Federal law makes it a crime to use falsified documents, but draws a distinction between identity theft and application to work. It is not illegal for an immigrant in the U.S. illegally to apply for a job.

In 2007 and 2008, however, Arizona changed the legal definition of identity theft to include attempts at employment by immigrants in the country illegally.

The lawsuit’s plaintiffs included a woman convicted of identity theft and a taxpayer in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, who objected to the use of taxpayer dollars to enforce the law. They argued before Campbell that the federal rule on applications to work by immigrants in the country illegally supersedes Arizona law.

Maricopa County tried to get the suit thrown out. …

Maricopa County argued that the identity theft laws are neutral on the question of immigration and immigrants in the country illegally, and apply equally to citizens and non-citizens. But Maricopa County’s argument was partly undone by one of its own news releases, which said that all suspects charged with identity theft to gain employment were immigrants in the country illegally.

County Atty. Bill Montgomery, one of the defendants, said the ruling is another demonstration of the Obama administration’s soft stance on immigration law.

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