ACLU: Arizona ruling shows Indiana law is invalid

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Two lawyers who challenged Indiana's immigration law said the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday to throw out part of a similar law in Arizona reinforces a federal judge's decision to block the Indiana statute.

"If nothing else, it just reinforces the unconstitutionality of the Indiana law," said Ken Falk, legal director of American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued an order preventing part of the 2011 Indiana law that gave local police power to arrest anyone who has had certain actions filed against them by immigration authorities.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down provisions of Arizona's law that required all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers; made it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job; and allowed police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

But the court did not throw out the provision requiring police to check the immigration status of someone they suspect is not in the United States legally. Even there, though, the justices said the provision could be subject to additional legal challenges.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said he would review the court's decision and advise lawmakers of any changes required in the statute.

Falk said the Arizona law required police to suspect an immigrant had committed a crime before making an arrest, while Indiana's law allowed police to arrest people who hadn't committed a crime. He said the Indiana law was "a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment."

"The reasoning of the Court's decision strongly supports the Indiana district court's injunction of two provisions of Indiana's law," said Linton Joaquin, general counsel with National Immigration Law Center, which helped the ACLU represent the three immigrants who filed the lndiana lawsuit.

Barker last year threw out a provision of the Indiana law that would allow the arrest of anyone who has had a notice of action filed by immigration authorities, a formal paperwork step that affects virtually anyone applying to be in the U.S. for any reason. The other portion of the law that was blocked would have made it illegal for immigrants to use ID cards issued by foreign consulates as proof of identification.

"As a whole, the decision appears to reinforce the proposition that immigration is the sole province of the federal government and states do not have a role," Falk said.

The Indiana state government, which is fighting to have the temporary injunction lifted claims that police could only arrest immigrants when they have documents that show the federal government has ordered them to be removed or detained.

A Mexican cultural group in East Chicago also challenged the state law in northern Indiana federal court in December, but the judge there stayed the proceedings pending the Supreme Court's decision in the Arizona case.


  • Law Breakers
    As I read each post, I wondered why people are not demanding that corporate executives at companies that hire illegals are not being arrested and charged in accordance with state and federal law? Several thousand illegals are working very hard at businesses most of you frequent and support. I am guessing that corporations carry more clout than state and federal authorities. A quick review of campaign donations might shed light on this ever-growing dilemma for the powers that be.
  • precedent?
    Read your history....the 4th Amendment and all the others in the Bill of Rights were created for the legal citizens of this country. On a slim possibility anything that was concerning non-citizens is for helping illegals become LEGAL. It was NOT created for illegal aliens to invade this country and then use our laws and rights to help themselves to everything a legal citizens has rights to.
  • duh
    "Ken Falk with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana says the Indiana law goes further than the Arizona law because it allows police to arrest immigrants who haven't committed a crime." Do you realize how ridiculous this statement is? The "American" Civil Liberties Union says Indiana law goes too far because it allows immigrants (read: ILLEGAL ALIENS) to be arrested without committing a crime, (entering the country and staying ILLEGALLY!) Then says it violates the 4th Amendment which was written by the founders of our country FOR LEGAL CITIZENS!!!! Again ACLU.....what part of "citizen or illegal" don't you understand?
  • Then why don't the Feds do their job???
    Pass the buck and open up the borders (and our wallets!) Geez all this rhetoric gets old and nothing gets done. At least Arizona tried!
  • Some Confusion on the Issues
    Mary, first of all, it is well-established legal precedent that people in the U.S. have various rights, even if they are not citizens. Second, the ruling of the Supreme court was concerned with the issue of federal preemption. The Court held that generally the federal government has the authority to legislate in the area of immigration, not state governments.
    • How ironic??
      Is it just me, or does anyone else think it is ironic for an illegal immigrant to be defended by the AMERICAN Civil Liberties Union for a violation of the 4th Ammendment of a Constitution they do not have rights to because they are NOT US CITIZENS!!!???
      • Take legal action against the Feds
        If SCOTUS won't let us enforce what the Federal government should be doing then we need to sue the Feds to get them to do THEIR job. Inactivity is unacceptable! Failure to enforce laws designed to protect our citizens and defend the Constitution could be considered a treasonous offense and fully enforceable up to, and including the President.

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