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New suit filed protesting immigration law

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The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund has filed a lawsuit on behalf of La Union Benefica Mexicana, a nonprofit organization in East Chicago, protesting two previously unchallenged portions of Indiana’s new immigration law.

In June 2011, U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker blocked two other provisions of Public Law 171 – which originated as Senate Bill 590.

The MALDEF complaint, filed Dec. 20, claims that La Union Benefica Mexicana has had to divert resources to educating people about the possible implications of Public Law 171, specifically Indiana Code 22-4-39.5 and 22-5-6. Both concern the verification of a person’s eligibility to work in the United States. Indiana Code 22-5-6-4 states that anyone who enforces employment law and has probable cause to believe that a person has violated requirements for day labor shall file a complaint with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel, said in a statement: “Our Constitution permits only one government – the federal government – to regulate immigration, and the federal government has enacted comprehensive laws regulating the employment of immigrants. By seeking to independently punish workers and employers, SB 590 runs afoul of that basic constitutional principle.”

In May 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 challenging portions of the law that would allow police to conduct warrantless arrests and would penalize immigrants for using their consular identification cards.

That complaint resulted in Barker’s declaration that those two portions of the law were unenforceable. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a motion Dec. 21 asking the court to temporarily halt proceedings in Buquer, et al. v. City of Indianapolis, et al., No. 1:2011-CV-00708, the class-action complaint filed last May. Zoeller made the request because the Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to hear a challenge to Arizona’s immigration law, and the resulting opinion will clarify what states’ roles are in enforcing immigration laws, Zoeller said in a statement.•
 

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  • diverting resources?
    I dont understand that harm that supposedly makes this entity a legit challenger. They have to "divert resources?" how about all the resources that are diverted by illegal immigration.

    Also I do not think that is any kind of accurate statement of the law. From day one of government class we learned that state governments had plenary powers and the federal one limited. Enforcement of immigration status has always been legitimately done by states as well as federal. They immigration advocates are trying to change the law on this by repeating themselves loudly and often.

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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