Listen & Download

On Oct. 16, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court heard argument in Kansas v. Garcia, a case involving a dispute over whether the federal Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) precludes states from using any information contained in a federal Form I-9, (which includes common information such as name, date of birth, and social security number) to prosecute the person with a state crime.

Respondents Ramiro Garcia, Donaldo Morales, and Guadalupe Ochoa-Lara were convicted of identity theft (and/or making a false information) by the state of Kansas, for using social security numbers that were not theirs on federally required employment or housing-related paperwork.  Respondents argued that their convictions were invalid on the grounds that IRCA preempts the use of such information in a state prosecution.  The Kansas Supreme Court agreed and reversed the convictions, holding that IRCA expressly preempted state prosecutions that use information contained in a federal I-9 form. That decision conflicted with those of various other state supreme courts and federal circuit courts of appeals, however, and the U.S. Supreme Court subsequently granted Kansas’s certiorari petition to address whether IRCA impliedly preempts Kansas’ prosecution of respondents.

To discuss the cases, we have Jonathan Urick senior counsel for litigation at the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center.

As always, the Federalist Society takes no particular legal or public policy positions. All opinions expressed are those of the speakers.