Zoeller wins praise for ‘courageous’ immigration law stand
The state’s poorly conceived immigration law earned a welcome rebuke from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller this week, who recommended that a federal judge strike down parts of the law.
The Supreme Court made clear that immigration enforcement is a federal government responsibility, Zoeller said in a statement. As Indiana’s attorney general, I had an obligation to defend this Indiana statute passed prior to the recent Arizona decision, but I have sworn to uphold the Constitution and my legal conclusion now is that certain portions of the state law cannot stand.
His words drew praise from a spokesman with the Alliance for Immigration Reform in Indiana. Mike Murphy called the attorney general’s decision thoughtful and quite frankly very courageous.
We are in an environment – a political and economic environment – that does not reward people who are thoughtful about issues like immigration, Murphy said. I think 20 years down the road we’ll look back at this era as somewhat embarrassing era in Indiana history. But people will know where Greg Zoeller stood on this issue.
In his brief, Zoeller recommended that U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker strike down three provisions in the Indiana law regarding warrantless arrests. A suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union challenged Senate Enrolled Act 590, which allows local officers to make warrantless arrests based on immigration court removal orders, federal notice-of-action forms, 48-hour detainee requests or for being a foreign person who has been indicted or convicted of an aggravated felony.