Suit to Stop Indiana's Unconstitutional Anti-Immigrant Law Addresses Previously Unchallenged Provisions

Lawsuit Flags Provisions Penalizing Workers and Business Owners

CHICAGO, IL – Today, MALDEF filed suit on behalf of La Union Benefica Mexicana, a Latino community and civic organization in Northern Indiana, against the State of Indiana to strike down two previously-unchallenged provisions of the State’s anti-immigrant law known as Senate Bill 590 (SB 590). Signed into law on May 10, 2011, SB 590 creates a state-based regime of immigration regulations that poses severe and immediate threats to the United States Constitution and to the livelihood of anyone who "looks" to local authorities like an undocumented immigrant.

MALDEF challenges SB 590 as a violation of several federal constitutional provisions. The suits includes claims under the Supremacy Clause, the Contracts Clause, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause and the Fourth Amendment's unreasonable search and seizure provisions. With this lawsuit, MALDEF specifically seeks to stop the enforcement of two key, previously unchallenged sections of this legislation that have the purpose of penalizing employment and contracting activities of workers and business owners in Indiana. Both sections conflict with federal laws and policies and usurp powers constitutionally vested exclusively in the federal government. SB 590 went into effect on July 1, 2011. Other provisions have been barred from implementation through a previously-filed suit.

Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated, "Our Constitution permits only one government -- the federal government -- to regulate immigration, and the federal government has enacted comprehensive laws regulating the employment of immigrants. By seeking to independently punish workers and employers, SB 590 runs afoul of that basic constitutional principle."

"This challenge is necessary to send a message to anti-immigrant groups that their efforts to pass Arizona-style legislation in the Midwest are not welcome and will be resisted," added Alonzo Rivas, MALDEF Midwest Regional Counsel.

A copy of the complaint can be found here

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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