February 21, 2024

Indiana Republicans seek to legally enforce ban on sanctuary cities

Article origination IPB News
The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit involving Indiana's ban on sanctuary cities, ruling private citizens couldn't prove they had standing to sue. - FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

The Indiana Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit involving Indiana's ban on sanctuary cities, ruling private citizens couldn't prove they had standing to sue.

FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks/IPB News

Republicans want to make Indiana’s law banning sanctuary cities enforceable with a bill headed to the House floor.

SB 181 is a response to an Indiana Supreme Court decision from 2022.

Indiana’s sanctuary cities law banned local governments from refusing to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

A Gary “welcoming ordinance” approved in 2017 limited the city’s ability to investigate a person’s immigration status and to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws.

A small group of citizens sued. But the Indiana Supreme Court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the citizens couldn’t show any injury from the ordinance.
 

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Sen. Eric Koch’s (R-Bedford) bill seeks to get around that ruling.

“It gives the attorney general standing to bring an enforcement action against a sanctuary city ordinance,” Koch said.

The bill cleared a House committee 7-2, with Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) joining Rep. Maureen Bauer (D-South Bend) in opposition.
 


Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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