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Groups file suits against new law

June 8, 2011

The National Immigration Law Center, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and the national ACLU Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project filed a class action lawsuit May 25 challenging the wording of a new Indiana law designed to curb illegal immigration. Lewis & Kappes attorney Angela Adams is among the attorneys representing the plaintiffs who say the law – Senate Enrolled Act 590 – will allow police to wrongly arrest people and will penalize immigrants for using their consular identification cards.

Since SEA 590 was first introduced in the Indiana Legislature, people around the country have drawn comparisons between it and the Arizona law that was introduced in 2010 as Senate Bill 1070 – which was widely considered to be the nation’s strictest immigration bill. Indiana’s bill was revised during the legislative session to remove language authorizing police to arrest people based on their appearance.

In the ACLU complaint, Buquer et. al. v City of Indianapolis et. al. No. 1:2011-CV-00708, the plaintiffs contend that a notice of action or detainer is not grounds for arrest.

In a statement released May 25, Andre Segura, staff attorney for the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, said, “Indiana has unwisely chosen to follow down Arizona’s unconstitutional path. This law marginalizes entire communities by criminalizing commonly accepted forms of identification. The law also undermines our most cherished constitutional safeguards by putting Indiana residents at risk of unlawful warrantless arrests without any suspicion of wrongdoing, much less criminal activity.”

On June 2, the NILC and ACLU also filed suit against a new Georgia immigration law that outlaws the use of consular identification cards.

Rehearing: "Immigration bill could bring Indiana into the national spotlight" IL May 11 - 24, 2011

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