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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Judge strikes down Montana immigrant law

    Judge strikes down Montana immigrant law

    Updated 9:48 am, Monday, June 23, 2014

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana judge has struck down most of a voter-approved law requiring government officials to conduct immigration checks on anybody seeking services from unemployment benefits to crime-victim assistance.

    The law aims to deny services to people who are in the U.S. illegally.

    District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock says in his Friday order the law makes up its own definition of "illegal alien" and conflicts with federal immigration laws.

    Immigration attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath said Monday state agencies won't be allowed to screen applicants or ask questions to find out a person's legal status.


    Sherlock allowed one provision of the law to stand. It requires state officials to report to immigration officials the name of a person who is not in the U.S. legally.


    Sherlock says that provision doesn't conflict with federal law.


    http://www.seattlepi.com/news/us/art...aw-5572717.php

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  2. #2
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock is very wrong on this. How could the state of Montana have a different definition of an illegal immigrant than the laws of Congress? Or did District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock just rule that Montana would have a different definition of an illegal immigrant than dictator Obama????

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  3. #3
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    Might this judge not consulted the books? It seems that the judge is confusing law with Obama executive orders. I still could be wrong, read it twice, a little vague?

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Court strikes down Montana immigration law

    John S. Adams, USA TODAY4:53 p.m. EDT June 23, 2014


    (Photo: Courtesy photo via Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune)

    HELENA, Mont. — A Montana judge has ruled that enactment of the state's 2012 voter-approved law banning undocumented immigrants from accessing state services is pre-empted by federal law and is unenforceable.

    The law, which aims to deny government jobs and assistance to people in the U.S. illegally, required certain state agencies to certify through a federal database that those requesting services were United States citizens. If a person was not in the country legally, the Montana agency must turn over the name to federal immigration officials.


    Legislative Referendum 121
    , which would have required certain state agencies to certify through a federal database that people requesting services are United States citizens, was set to take effect Jan. 1, 2013.


    More than 80% of Montana voters supported Legislative Referendum 121 in the November 2012 general election. The law was set to take effect Jan. 1, 2013, but it wasn't enforced because of a legal challenge.


    The immigrants' rights group Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance sued in December 2012 to block the law, arguing the measure violated U.S. citizens' rights to privacy, due process and equal protection under the Montana and U.S. constitutions, and was pre-empted by federal law.


    On Friday, District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock, of Helena, Mont., agreed with the plaintiffs and struck down significant portions of the law.


    In an 18-page order for summary judgment, Sherlock ruled the mandates upon state agencies to determine immigration status and deny a wide variety of state services to "illegal aliens," is pre-empted by federal law as an impermissible regulation of immigration.

    "The Immigration and Nationality Act ... provides no definition for the term 'illegal alien' or the term 'lawfully present,' " Sherlock wrote.

    Sherlock wrote that by making up its own definition of "illegal alien," the state is not only in a pre-emption conflict with federal law, but it also attempts to regulate immigration, which is prohibited by the Constitution.


    "As noted by one court, state agents are unqualified and unauthorized to make independent determinations of immigration status," Sherlock wrote. "Such determinations amount to immigration regulation that is pre-empted by the United States Constitution."


    Shahid Haque-Hausrath, a Helena immigration attorney and president of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance, was the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case.


    "In this ruling, the court has prevented the state from engaging in misguided efforts to enforce federal immigration laws, which the state is not qualified nor authorized to do," said Haque-Hausrath.


    John Barnes, spokesman for Attorney General Tim Fox, said his office received a copy of Sherlock's ruling Monday morning and was reviewing it.


    "We have a period of time in which to make a decision on appealing," said Barnes. "It is premature at this point as to whether or not we're going to appeal."


    The Immigration and Nationality Act ... provides no definition for the term 'illegal alien' or the term 'lawfully present.'
    District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock

    Sherlock upheld a provision of the law that permits communication between state agencies and the federal government regarding an individual's immigration status. However, the ruling does not allow the state to make a legal determination of a person's citizenship status.

    "It is unconstitutional for the state to be engaging in its own determination of somebody's immigration status and then denying services based on that determination," Haque-Hausrath said. "This returns the state to the framework that has always existed, in which there are some services the federal government allows the state to screen, and there are others that it doesn't."


    The ruling is the latest test of a law approved during a wave of immigration crackdowns nationwide. Last week, a federal judge in Utah upheld part of a 2011 law in that state that allows authorities to check the citizenship of those stopped for traffic infractions — within certain limits — but struck down other provisions, such as warrantless arrests on suspicion of immigration status.


    Montana state Rep. David Howard, a Republican from Park City, who sponsored the measure, said at the time that the law was necessary because state taxpayers could be spending an untold number of taxpayer dollars providing services to undocumented immigrants.


    Howard, who is now running for a seat in the Montana Senate, did not return a call seeking comment on Sherlock's ruling.


    Haque-Hausrath said lawmakers who backed the law ignored repeated warnings that it was unconstitutional.


    "As the proponents pointed out in their argument for LR 121, this law was intended to make the state of Montana an unwelcoming place for immigrants," Haque-Hausrath said.


    Haque-Hausrath said over the last three legislative sessions lawmakers have considered at least 17 Republican-backed bills dealing with immigration, an issue he says is strictly covered by federal law.


    "Since 2009 there have been a number of bills that would bring the state into the business of enforcing federal immigration laws," Haque-Hausrath said.


    Haque-Hausrath said while most of the immigration bills presented at the Legislature failed to pass, the state expended a significant amount of taxpayer dollars presenting LR 121 to Montana voters and in defending the lawsuit.


    "I hope going into the next legislative session that the Legislature gets the message from this ruling that the state has no business enforcing federal immigration policy and needs to leave these issues to the federal government," Haque-Hausrath said.


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...-law/11276379/
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


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