Court strikes city’s sanctuary plan as violation of state law
A state court in Indiana struck down a sanctuary plan for illegal aliens implemented by the city of Gary because it violates state law.
“This is a final judgment,” said the order from Judge Stephen E. Scheele of Lake Superior Court.
The suit was filed by the Immigration Reform Law Institute and the Bopp Law firm, which called the decision a “major victory” against sanctuary policies.
Gary officials had enacted an ordinance protecting illegal aliens, even those with criminal records, from federal immigration law enforcement.
But the decision is a “complete victory,” the lawyers said.
The court found “that the ordinance violates several Indiana statutes prohibiting governmental bodies in the state from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration law enforcement. The statutes, which IRLI had helped draft, require local jurisdictions to cooperate with such enforcement to the full extent contemplated in federal law,” the legal team explained.
“Indiana’s law banning sanctuary cities in Indiana clearly bans what the city of Gary and other Hoosier cities have done with so-called ‘Welcoming City’ ordinances,” said James Bopp, Jr. of the Bopp Law Firm. “We are pleased that, after extended litigation, the court has recognized the obvious fact that such ordinances are illegal in Indiana. There must be no more such ordinances in Indiana, and those in existence are clearly in violation of Indiana law.”
The judge had dismissed several individual defendants, but it granted the plaintiffs motion for summary judgment against the last remaining defendant, the city.
“Residents of Gary and other sanctuary cities are victimized by such unlawful non-cooperation policies,” the legal team explained. “According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimates, roughly 2.1 million alien criminals are living in the U.S., over 1.9 million of whom are removable. Because of policies, like Gary’s, that prohibit state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials, alien criminals are able to stay in communities and commit more crimes.”
Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI, said that sheltering illegal aliens from immigration authorities “not only flagrantly violates duly enacted Indiana law, but represents a serious public safety and national security risk.”
“When cities such as Gary insist on putting the interests of illegal aliens above those of their own citizenry, they have to be stopped, and we are pleased the court did just that yesterday,” he said.
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