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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. Your article is a good intro the recent amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. For a much longer - though not necessarily better -- summary, counsel might want to read THE CHIEF UMPIRE IS CHANGING THE STRIKE ZONE, which I co-authored and which was just published in the January issue of THE VERDICT (the monthly publication of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association).

  2. Thank you, John Smith, for pointing out a needed correction. The article has been revised.

  3. The "National institute for Justice" is an agency for the Dept of Justice. That is not the law firm you are talking about in this article. The "institute for justice" is a public interest law firm. http://ij.org/ thanks for interesting article however

  4. I would like to try to find a lawyer as soon possible I've had my money stolen off of my bank card driver pressed charges and I try to get the information they need it and a Social Security board is just give me a hold up a run around for no reason and now it think it might be too late cuz its been over a year I believe and I can't get the right information they need because they keep giving me the runaroundwhat should I do about that

  5. It is wonderful that Indiana DOC is making some truly admirable and positive changes. People with serious mental illness, intellectual disability or developmental disability will benefit from these changes. It will be much better if people can get some help and resources that promote their health and growth than if they suffer alone. If people experience positive growth or healing of their health issues, they may be less likely to do the things that caused them to come to prison in the first place. This will be of benefit for everyone. I am also so happy that Indiana DOC added correctional personnel and mental health staffing. These are tough issues to work with. There should be adequate staffing in prisons so correctional officers and other staff are able to do the kind of work they really want to do-helping people grow and change-rather than just trying to manage chaos. Correctional officers and other staff deserve this. It would be great to see increased mental health services and services for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities in the community so that fewer people will have to receive help and support in prisons. Community services would like be less expensive, inherently less demeaning and just a whole lot better for everyone.

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