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Iowa court: State cannot prosecute immigrant using fake ID

June 9, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Supreme Court says immigrants living in Iowa without legal permission and who use a stolen identity to get a job cannot be prosecuted by the state for identity theft or forgery.

The court, in ruling Friday on the case of 31-year-old Martha Martinez, says such immigration-related prosecutions are up to federal authorities not county prosecutors.

Martinez, who lives in Muscatine, was charged after she obtained a driver’s license and Social Security number under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program, in 2014. State authorities found she’d obtained a license at age 17 using a fake ID and used it to get a job. They charged her with the two felonies.

The court dismissed the charges saying only federal authorities can enforce immigration laws.

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