A federal judge in Indiana has permanently struck down key parts of a restrictive immigration bill passed by the state legislature, including a provision that would allow police to arrest someone whose immigration status is in question.

From the Indianapolis Star:

A federal judge has permanently blocked enforcement of two key provisions of a controversial 2011 Indiana immigration bill: one barring the use of consular identification cards and another allowing the arrests of people whose immigration status is questionable.

In a ruling issued today in U.S. District Court, Judge Sarah Evans Barker made permanent a preliminary injunction that she issued in June 2011.

That ruling found the state 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 had been questioned by federal authorities — even if those authorities had determined that a person should be able to remain in the country.

Other provisions of the state law, which penalize employers for hiring illegal immigrants, remain in effect.


Barker’s initial ruling had been appealed by the prosecutors, who were represented in the challenge by the office of Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

The attorney general, however, did not appeal the ruling on the state’s behalf, citing a U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding similar legislation in Arizona.

The Supreme Court in June struck down much of Arizona's restrictive immigration law, including unwarranted arrests of suspected illegal immigrants. But it upheld a controversial provision requiring police to verify the immigration status of people who are detained for other reasons.

Indiana was one of several states to pass an immigration law modeled on Arizona's.