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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. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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