ILLEGAL STATUS, DETENTION, and IDs
Originally introduced as an Arizona-style immigration law, Senate Enrolled Act 590 was ultimately watered down to primarily address issues related to employers hiring illegal immigrants.
Much of the law enforcement provisions were removed from the original language, with the exception of a section that allows local officers to arrest an individual for whom a detainer or notice of action has been issued by an immigration court or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. That provision along with a second part of the new law has been blocked by an injunction issued by U.S. District Court’s Southern District calling the measure “seriously flawed.” According to the complaint filed in the case, a notice of action does not necessarily imply illegal activities, but can often be issued “in response to an application by an alien, for example, an application for an immigrant or non-immigrant visa, refugee status, or even an application for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen.”
Read the official Order Granting Preliminary Injunction from the U.S. District Court Southern District here>>
According to the general counsel for the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles, as quoted in a recent story by The Indiana Lawyer, “… a police officer in the field would have no way to know whether an immigrant who is subject to a removal order is contesting the order on appeal, or is otherwise not subject to detention by federal immigration officers, such as is the case with non-citizens released under an order of supervision because their removal cannot be effected.”
A number of Senate Democrats expressed concern during the debate of the legislation after questioning why the legislature was addressing a federal issue rather than other pressing matters to the state such as job creation and funding for K-12 education.
The second provision in question blocked by the U.S. District Court’s Southern District makes it a crime for anyone to accept an ID, other than a passport, issued by a foreign consular as a valid form of identification. At question is whether that conflicts with international agreements or overrides the fact that the U.S. Treasury Dept. allows banks to accept those IDs.
A decision in the federal case is expected by July 1, the effective date of the law.
Other provisions in SEA 590:
- Increases criminal sanctions for human trafficking or harboring illegal immigrants for financial gain.
- Places restrictions on bail options if the defendant is an illegal immigrant.
- Prohibits law enforcement from requesting citizenship or immigration status verification of an individual who is a witness to a crime or reporting a crime or and instance of child abuse or neglect.
TUITION FOR HIGHER ED
House Enrolled Act 1402 passed out the 2011 legislative session, also targeting illegal or undocumented immigrants in the state. The act restricts undocumented students living in Indiana from receiving in-state tuition rates. That could mean a substantial increase in tuition costs for students living in Indiana. At Indiana University, for example, the jump would be from approximately $9,000 for in-state tuition to more than $27,500 for out-of-state tuition for full-time undergraduate students.
Opponents expressed numerous concerns that the bill would stymie economic development, leaving a portion of the state’s population without affordable options for higher education. In addition, concerns were expressed that the bill would limit the academic recruitment potential of state universities.
Senate Democrats offered an amendment to the bill that would have retained the in-state commission rate for students who had graduated from an Indiana high school and lived in the state for three consecutive years. Through this measure, Senate Democrats would have provided in-state tuition for students who had grown up within the state’s education system regardless of their parents’ legal status. However, the provision was voted down largely along party lines.
This bill goes into effect on July 1, 2011, and will affect students attending state universities in the fall of 2011.