Judge dismisses suit against Indiana immigration law

August 14, 2013

Two parts of Indiana's immigration law will remain in effect after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit by a northwestern Indiana Hispanic advocacy group challenging them, the Indiana attorney general's office said Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Jon DeGuilio dismissed the lawsuit filed by East Chicago-based Union Benefica Mexicana for technical flaws Tuesday because it improperly named the state of Indiana, the governor, the attorney general and three northwestern Indiana county prosecutors as defendants. Those parties have sovereign immunity from lawsuits under the 11th Amendment, the attorney general's office said in a news release.

The lawsuit also named three northwestern Indiana county sheriffs as defendants, but DeGiulio said Union Benefica Mexicana had not shown that it had legal standing to sue them.

The lawsuit challenged a portion of a sweeping immigrant law passed by the General Assembly in 2011 that allow the state to sue employers to recoup unemployment benefits from employers who knowingly employ unauthorized or illegal workers.

It also challenged a section requiring workers seeking day-laborer jobs to complete individual attestation-of-employment forms and requiring police to submit a complaint to federal immigration authorities if they have probable cause to believe that a worker has not completed the form, the attorney general's office said.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling against an Arizona immigration law last year left other parts of Indiana's law unenforceable but did not affect the sections that Union Benefica Mexicana was challenging.

Attempts to reach Union Benefica Mexicana for comment were unsuccessful because its published telephone number has been disconnected.


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