The Supreme Court’s decision yesterday in Flores-Figueroa v. United States takes a big stick away from those who want to punish unauthorized immigrants, and makes it easier to imagine a legalization process that could work. If the unauthorized who want to adjust their status will not be able to do so if guilty of crimes, then convictions or the possibility of prosecution for identity theft might keep millions who have used fake social security documents in the shadows. But it is not a crime to be an undocumented worker and the vast majority of undocumented workers are not criminals, any more than are most of the businesses that employ them. Rather, the undocumented are working people seeking a better life, part of an immigration and employment system that has been broken for 20 years.
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