By Alison Peek | From Examiner.com
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, HB497 – Utah’s new enforcement only immigration law is unconstitutional, and they are taking the state to court. The organization has joined with the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Utah, the Utah Coalition of La Raza and a number of other groups and individuals in a suit to stop the bill just days before its May 10 effective date.
The group filed a class action lawsuit in federal court in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, stating the bill is not a kinder, gentler form of Arizona’s SB1070, enforcement only legislation. Utah’s enforcement only law has police officers check immigration status for felony and class A misdemeanor arrests, and allows the check for lesser crimes if an arresting officer decides there is a need.
The ACLU says the law would turn Utah into a police state and allows for racial profiling. They maintain the law will make it necessary for all Utahns to carry identification papers at all times. According to Cecillia Wang, managing attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, “America is not a ‘show me your papers’ country. No one should be subject to investigation, detention and arrest without any suspicion of criminal activity.”