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Officials weigh-in on ACLU immigration lawsuit

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The governor has no comment on a class-action lawsuit filed Wednesday regarding Senate Enrolled Act 590, said Jane Jankowski, spokeswoman for Gov. Mitch Daniels. The suit – filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana – aims to prevent two components of the immigration legislation from becoming law on July 1.

Mike Delph, author of the legislation, released a statement regarding the suit on his legislative website that said, “Though I have not had the opportunity to review the specifics of the filing, it appears the ACLU has filed a lawsuit against citizens of Indiana in favor of illegal immigrants. This is not surprising given their very liberal leanings. What is equally unsurprising is their team of immigration attorneys that continue to profit financially off the backs of this captive market. …”

In the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Indiana, attorneys contend SEA 590’s language that authorizes police to arrest someone who has been issued a detainer or notice of action by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will result in people being wrongfully detained.

A notice of action, the lawsuit explains, is simply a general administrative response issued by DHS: “Often it is in response to an application by an alien, for example, an application for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, refugee status, or even an application for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.”

The law also penalizes people for offering or accepting consular identification cards (CIDs) as a means of valid identification. On its website Wednesday, The Mexican Embassy to the United States said that the language concerning CIDs is contrary to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

In a statement issued Wednesday by the National Immigration Law Center, General Counsel Linton Joaquin said, “By cutting off the use of secure foreign photo identification, the law has effectively denied foreign visitors, scholars and immigrants in general the ability to engage in important commercial activity. These secure forms of official identification in a wide variety of settings are vital to both immigrants and society.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office issued a statement saying Zoeller will “defend the new law passed by the Indiana General Assembly as is my obligation.”

In a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday, the court upheld an Arizona law penalizing business owners for hiring illegal immigrants. In Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Whiting, No. 09-115, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer dissented from the majority opinion, and Justice Elena Kagan did not consider the case.

For more on Indiana’s new immigration laws, see the June 8 edition of Indiana Lawyer.

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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