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Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill wants the right to appeal a settlement that bars the Marion County Sheriff’s office from detaining people in Indianapolis based solely on requests by immigration officials. Hill says in a statement the state should have the opportunity to defend Indiana law.
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker approved the settlement in November. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana had sued the sheriff’s office last year over its compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s detainer policies for people accused of living illegally in the U.S.
Hill filed a motion last week to intervene in the case to defend the state statutes at issue. He says in a statement that no one in the case represented Indiana’s interest in upholding state law, because the defendant and the plaintiff were essentially in agreement.
“The State has compelling interests that justify intervention,” Hill says in court documents. “The State is not moving to intervene in order to present evidence or take testimony, but only for the limited purpose of appeal.”
Sheriff John Layton says the ruling “provides a clear path here for the nation’s sheriffs to follow.”
Civil rights attorneys say the detainers violate the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Department of Justice says they aid immigration enforcement.
Barker’s injunction excludes immigration cases where there is a warrant or probable cause.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.