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Indiana Judge Strikes Down East Chicago ‘Welcoming City’ Ordinance

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Politics, Statewide News
A 2017 East Chicago ordinance directed city officials and law enforcement not to share information with federal immigration authorities – like a person’s immigration status, work location or contact information. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)
A 2017 East Chicago ordinance directed city officials and law enforcement not to share information with federal immigration authorities – like a person’s immigration status, work location or contact information. (Samantha Horton/IPB News)

An East Chicago ordinance that would have limited the city’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement was struck down recently by an Indiana judge.

Lake County Judge Thomas Hallett ruled the so-called “welcoming city” ordinance violates Indiana law.

The 2017 city ordinance was one of several around the country that, among other things, directed city officials and law enforcement not to share information with federal immigration authorities – like a person’s immigration status, work location or contact information.

But a 2011 Indiana law specifically bans local governments from restricting communication or cooperation with federal officials when it comes to information about citizenship or immigration status.

A similar Gary ordinance was also struck down last year. That ruling is being appealed. Both cases were brought by notable conservative attorney Jim Bopp, on behalf of local citizens.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.