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Immigration law challenge moves forward in Northern District

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew P. Rodovich in Hammond Tuesday granted the state’s unopposed motion to lift the stay of a lawsuit in the Northern District challenging portions of Indiana’s immigration law dealing with employment.

The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the suit on behalf of Union Benefica Mexican in December 2011 concerning Indiana Code 22-4-39.5 and 22-5-6. Those statutes deal with the verification of one’s eligibility to work in the U.S.

The suit, Union Benefica Mexican v. State of Indiana, et al., 2:11-CV-482, claims the immigration law passed in 2011 violates the Fourth and 11th amendments, the supremacy clause and the contracts clause. The lawsuit focuses on two sections of the new law: one that allows the Department of Workforce Development to file civil actions against employers for reimbursement of unemployment insurance if they knowingly employed illegal immigrants; and a second that prohibits someone from performing day labor without filing an attestation of employment authorization.

The case was put on hold pending the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Arizona v. United States, 11-182. The justices issued their opinion June 25, and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed the motion to lift stay and set deadlines in Union Benefica Mexicana Aug. 6.

The state has until Aug. 31 to respond to Union Benefica Mexicana’s motion for preliminary injunction. The plaintiff has until Sept. 14 to respond to the state’s filings.

Zoeller did concede as a result of Arizona that a warrantless arrest for a removal order, a notice of action, or the commission of an aggravated felony that would subject the arrestee to removal in Indiana is unconstitutional. That issue is part of a lawsuit brought in the Southern District by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana. Zoeller maintains that other challenged portions, such as the use of consular-issued identification cards, can survive despite the Arizona ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court found certain portions of Arizona’s tough immigration law to be pre-empted by federal law, including the section that authorizes officers to arrest someone without a warrant whom the officer has probable cause to believe has committed any public offense that makes the person removable..

 

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  1. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  2. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

  3. Hi there I really need help with getting my old divorce case back into court - I am still paying support on a 24 year old who has not been in school since age 16 - now living independent. My visitation with my 14 year old has never been modified; however, when convenient for her I can have him... I am paying past balance from over due support, yet earn several thousand dollars less. I would contact my original attorney but he basically molest me multiple times in Indy when I would visit.. Todd Woodmansee - I had just came out and had know idea what to do... I have heard he no longer practices. Please help1

  4. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

  5. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

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