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Judge blocks 2 key provisions of Indiana immigration law

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Friday, March 29, 2013 - 4:54 pm

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge on Friday permanently blocked Indiana from enforcing two key provisions of the state's immigration law approved by lawmakers two years ago, including one that she said could lead to "serious abuses" by police.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker had granted a temporary injunction in June 2011 barring the law from taking effect that July while she weighed its constitutionality. In Friday's ruling, she permanently blocked the state from enforcing a provision enabling police to make warrantless arrests based on certain common immigration documents.

Barker's ruling said that provision is unconstitutional because it "authorizes the warrantless arrest of persons for matters and conduct that are not crimes." She added that such power "contravenes the Fourth Amendment."

" ... The power to arrest on that basis threatens serious abuses," Barker wrote in her ruling.

Barker also permanently blocked a provision that would have prevented businesses and others from accepting consular ID cards as a valid form of identification. Her ruling said that provision is pre-empted by federal law pertaining to U.S. relations with foreign nations.

Barker also issued an order Friday denying a motion filed by three Indiana lawmakers who asked to defend parts of the state's immigration law in court.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the National Immigration Law Center had sued the state over the 2011 law. Ken Falk, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, praised Barker's ruling in a statement released Friday afternoon.

"This ruling demonstrates that the Constitution applies to all Indiana residents and that the state cannot presume to regulate immigration," Falk said in his statement.