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Written by Heather Gillers
The state will not appeal a federal court decision to put on hold parts of Indiana’s newimmigration law, Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced today.
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued a preliminary injunction June 24 againsttwo provisions of the law, one barring the use of consular identification cards and another allowing the arrests of people whose immigration status is questionable.
Zoeller’s decision not to appeal the injunction means those parts of the law will not be enforced while Barker is hearing arguments by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana that the provisions should be thrown out.
“Hoosiers’ frustration with the federal government’s inability to enact and enforce immigration policies prompted the Legislature to turn the wheels of state government to respond to this issue—and I remain committed to defending legislative enactments against outside challenges,” Zoeller said in a statement.
The law, Senate Enrolled Act 590, originally empowered local police to investigate drivers’ immigration status. It was significantly watered down amidst opposition from many public figures, including Zoeller himself.
In her June 24 order, Barker said the law violated the Constitution’s due process and search and seizure provisions, as well as other protections, by allowing local police to arrest people whose immigration status has been questioned by federal authorities—even if those authorities have determined that a person should be able to remain in the country. Other provisions, which penalize employers for hiring illegal immigrants, remain in effect.
Zoeller, who is already appealing a separate federal court injunction that put on hold a new law de-funding Planned Parenthood, emphasized that his office is not stretched thin. “Although our office would have adequate resources to appeal the preliminary injunction to the U.S. 7th Circuit,” his statement said, “for strategic reasons we will instead push forward in U.S. District Court and vigorously oppose a permanent injunction.”
Call Star reporter Heather Gillers at (317) 444 6405.
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