(USA Features) A state judge in Indiana has struck down an ordinance in East Chicago forbidding most law enforcement cooperation with federal immigration authorities as a violation of an existing statute.
The ordinance, which is known officially as a “welcoming city” policy, has been in effect since 2017, part of a surge of so-called “sanctuary city” laws that were enacted with President Donald Trump took office and pledged to more strictly enforce U.S. immigration laws.
However, Lake County Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Hallett enjoined the ordinance on Thursday, saying it violates a preexisting state law banning sanctuary cities.
Hallett did say, however, that city police officers were already in compliance with part of the state law after there were provided a notice of their duty to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.
James Bopp Jr., an attorney who challenged the city along with the Immigration Reform Law Institute, said the judge’s ruling ought to be a warning to other jurisdictions in Indiana.
“There must be no more such ordinances in Indiana, and those in existence are clearly in violation of Indiana law,” the attorney said.
In their suit, Bopp and the IRLI also argued that the East Chicago ordinance violated the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution, but Hallett tossed out that portion of the suit, ruling they lacked standing.