A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Friday that portions of an Indiana immigration law [SEA 590, text] are unconstitutional. At issue were two provisions in the law: one that allows police to arrest non-citizens without a warrant and one that prohibits the use of consular IDs as forms of identification. Judge Sarah Evans Barker ruled that these provisions violate the Fourth Amendment [text] of the US Constitution because they allow police to arrest people for matters that are not crimes [Reuters report]. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU) [advocacy website] praised the ruling [press release] as an affirmation of individual rights and a check on states' power to regulate immigration. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller [official website] declared [press release] the state will not appeal the ruling.
In June 2011 Barker issued a preliminary injunction [JURIST report] against the same two provisions of SEA 590. Immigration laws [JURIST backgrounder] have become a hot button issue over the past few years when many states, Arizona being the first, passed laws giving their state and local officials more power to crack down on undocumented immigration. Earlier this week Georgia expanded its immigration law [JURIST report] to implement stricter security and immigration compliance than the original 2011 version. Earlier in March the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] blocked enforcement [JURIST report] of an Arizona immigration law that prohibits motorists from stopping traffic to pick up workers. In February the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that its 2010 ruling that immigration attorneys are required to inform their clients about some of the deportation consequences of guilty pleas under the Sixth Amendment [text] of the Constitution does not apply retroactively.