ACLU files class action suit against Indiana immigration law

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed [press release] a class action lawsuit [complaint, PDF] on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana [official website] challenging a controversial Indiana immigration law [SEA 590 text; JURIST report]. The law, inspired by an Arizona law [SB 1070 text; JURIST news archive], requires individuals to provide proof of their legal status at all times, calls for all public meetings, websites and documents to be in English only and makes undocumented aliens ineligible for in-state tuition rates, financial aid, grants or scholarships. The ACLU argues this law will lead to warrantless arrests of authorized and unauthorized aliens, as well as racial profiling:

Insofar as SEA 590 authorizes state and local law enforcement to arrest persons without reasonable suspicion or probable cause of any unlawful contact, much less criminal activity, it violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable seizures. SEA 590 also conflicts with and is preempted by the Immigration Nationality Act, which provides a comprehensive statutory framework for the regulation of immigration that among other things, contains detailed provisions governing the detention and release of non-citizens in removal proceedings.
The suit is filed on behalf of three individuals who "will be" harassed by the law. State Senator Mike Delph [official website], the author of the law, responded condemning the lawsuit [text]. The ACLU has mounted a similar suit in Utah, which resulted in an injunction [JURIST reports].

Last month, the Indiana House of Representatives also approved legislation [JURIST report] to revoke tax credits from businesses that hire illegal immigrants and require the use of the E-verify System [official website] to check the eligibility status of employees. Similar immigration laws have been enacted across the country. The Georgia General Assembly approved a bill requiring police to check the immigration status [JURIST report] of anyone they have probable cause to believe has committed a criminal offense and requiring businesses to use E-Verify to check the immigration status of potential employees. Similar legislation has also been approved in Alabama, Virginia and Oklahoma [JURIST reports]. Arizona's law is currently enjoined, and Governor Jan Brewer has pledged to appeal to the US Supreme Court [JURIST reports].

 

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