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Judge permanently bars provisions of Indiana immigration law

March 30, 2013|By Paloma Esquivel

Two major parts of an Indiana law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration have been permanently barred from taking effect by a federal judge.

The law, approved in 2011, was part of a wave of state crackdowns on unauthorized immigration inspired by Arizona’s SB 1070.

Indiana’s law, known as SEA 590, said police could arrest without a warrant a person who had a removal order from an immigration court, a detainer or notice of action from immigration officials, or who had been previously indicted or convicted of an aggravated felony.

The law also barred the use of matriculas, or consular identification cards. Those cards are commonly used by immigrants to open bank accounts and as identification when dealing with law enforcement.

The ACLU and others who filed suit to stop the law from going into effect argued that the provisions were preempted by federal law and violated the 4th Amendment and due process requirements. U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker, who issued a preliminary injunction soon after the law was passed, broadly agreed with those arguments this week.

By singling out the use of consular identification cards from other IDs, the law “appears to have been designed simply to target foreign nationals,” Barker wrote. The arrest provisions, meanwhile, authorize “state and local law enforcement officers to effect warrantless arrests for matters that are not crimes,” thus running afoul of the 4th Amendment, she said.

In a statement Friday, Indiana Atty. Gen. Greg Zoeller said the case was at an end and his office would not appeal.

He had previously said he could no longer defend major portions of the law after the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a warrantless arrest provision in the Arizona law. Earlier this week Judge Barker denied a request by three Republican state senators to intervene in the case.


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