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Thread: Indiana immigration law partially unconstitutional, says attorney general

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Indiana immigration law partially unconstitutional, says attorney general

    Indiana immigration law partially unconstitutional, says attorney general

    3:17 PM, Jul. 31, 2012
    Written by Chris Sikich

    Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today in a news release that portions of Indiana’s anti-immigration law can’t be defended in court.

    The announcement comes after the Supreme Court’s decision June 25 to strike down similar measures of Arizona's law. At the time, legal scholars said the implications meant portions of Indiana’s law also were likely to be struck down.

    Zoeller today said the ruling in the Arizona vs. U.S. case makes clear state laws allowing law enforcement officers to arrest people for immigration without warrants are unconstitutional. He said portions of Senate Bill 590, Indiana’s immigration law, are overridden by federal law.

    And indeed, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit against Indiana's law last year, arguing that the state had overstepped its bounds in a federal matter.

    “The Supreme Court made clear that immigration enforcement is a federal government responsibility,” Zoeller said. “States are frustrated by the unwillingness of the executive branch to enforce current immigration laws and inability of Congress to make reforms.

    As Indiana’s Attorney General, I had an obligation to defend this Indiana statute passed prior to the recent Arizona decision, but I have sworn to uphold the Constitution and my legal conclusion now is that certain portions of the state law cannot stand.”

    With the Supreme Court case pending amid a growing national debate on immigration, portions of the state law never has been enforced. The ACLU in June 2011 obtained a preliminary injunction through the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana that stopped two portions of the law from taking effect until court action had been completed.

    The court blocked a right for local police to detain illegal immigrants in certain instances and the prevention of immigrants from using foreign-issued ID cards.

    While warrantless arrests are unconstitutional, Zoeller noted the Supreme Court did not issue a ruling, however, on prohibiting the use of such ID cards. He believes Indiana has the right to define what identification cards are reliable and acceptable, and will continue to defend that portion of the state law in the southern district court.

    He will, though, recommend the Indiana General Assembly revise that portion of the law to make it more effective.

    “My office has defended the Indiana law the Legislature has passed from the legal challenges the plaintiffs filed for as long as possible,” he said. “But once the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Arizona law, its decision is final; and we should defend the challenged portions only when we have a good-faith basis to do so. To disregard the Supreme Court’s guidance would not serve justice and would not be a good use of taxpayer resources, since the state could be ordered to pay the challenger’s attorneys fees.”

    There also is a separate case challenging other portions of Indiana’s anti-immigration law in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, based in Hammond.

    Zoeller, though, said the Supreme Court ruling has no bearing on the portions of the law being challenged in that court — a provision that allows the Department of Workforce Development to file civil actions to obtain the reimbursement of unemployment insurance benefits from employers that knowingly employed illegal immigrants, and a provision that prohibits individuals from working day labor without completing a confirmation required under federal law.

    Indiana immigration law partially unconstitutional, says attorney general | Indianapolis Star |

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Kiara's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    “The Supreme Court made clear that immigration enforcement is a federal government responsibility,”
    Then perhaps we should make it clear that the federal government isn't doing their damned job and someone has to protect the citizens from the invaders.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    State's rights vs the Federal Government. The federal government refuses to enforce the laws and sues states if they try to enforce laws and protect US citizens.

    It seems as though they have decided that the North American Union will happen even if the people reject it. They have not learned any lessons form the failure of the EU , they only want more power, so they will open the borders and create a border-less Continent with US citizens paying the freight to bring the third world countries out of poverty and lower their standard of living to do it. JMO
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