Indiana keeps eye on Court's immigration ruling


There is a lot of reaction after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down key parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law.

The court struck down a requirement that all immigrants obtain or carry immigration registration papers. The justices also ruled a provision making it a criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job, is illegal. They also ruled it's illegal for police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

Justices upheld the most controversial part of the law, though, requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop and suspect is not in the U.S. legally.

Indiana's attorney general says it will take a few weeks to completely go over the ruling to see if any of it applies to Indiana's immigration law and, if it does, to advise state lawmakers of any changes needed.

In Indiana, Monday's ruling could mean state and local police can no longer arrest a person without a warrant.

"As a society, we don't really want to have a statute that allows people to be plucked off the street and taken to jail for no valid reason. For many reasons, we don't want that to happen," said Ken Falk with the ACLU, which has already challenged provisions in the Indiana statute.

A controversial part of Arizona's law is also part of the law here in Indiana. It allows police to question someone's immigration status after they've stopped them for another reason and suspect they may be here illegally.

"There's still going to be a lot of people living with concerns of whether, because they look different, they can be stopped by law enforcement and that calls for racial profile," said Marlene Dotson with the Indiana Latino Institute.

"Even though Arizona's law says you can't use race, color, or national origin to implement this law, what's left? The only thing that's left is how someone looks, how they talk, whether they have an accent, their last name," added Marion Superior Judge Jose Salinas.

Salinas said, Latino or not, this part of the law could impact all Hoosiers in the long run.

"You're going to have to defend this law, because there's going to be abuses. It's inevitable. Alright, and do you want to defend this based on abuses that we know are going to happen and are going to cost resources to be used by the county and by the state?" said Salinas.

Salinas said, as a judge, he's sworn to uphold the law, but is concerned about someone getting off on a technicality.

"As a criminal judge, the last thing I want is to throw out any evidence or to invalidate an arrest because the officer did something he was not allowed to do," said Salinas.

Another part of the Indiana law that could remain is the part that allows for tax punishments of companies that hire illegal immigrants. The law in Arizona went after employees instead of employers.

State Senator Mike Delph, who authored Indiana's immigration law, issued the following statement Monday:

"The Federal government continues to ignore its duty to enforce the law. President Obama's recent decision to halt certain deportations is just the latest example along with its assault on the 287g program. Article II of the United States Constitution requires the President of the United States "shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed" as passed by the United States Congress. Presidents from both parties have pandered for political reasons and now the court is once again suggesting the Federal government enforce the law.

"As long as the law remains unenforced, states like Indiana will bear real taxpayer expense. This is an unfunded mandate. Senate Enrolled Act 590 as signed into law by Governor Daniels has a provision which requires the Governor of Indiana to account for all of the costs borne by Hoosier taxpayers and submit a bill to the United States Congress.

"This takes place next month, July of 2012. Although we are still reviewing today's United States Supreme Court decision, I remain encouraged and confident that much if not most of our law is legally permissible under this decision."