Lesbians, Gays, Mexico, and Thirteen Latin American Countries Ask Court To Strike Down Utah Immigration Enforcement Bill

Mexico and thirteen Latin American countries signed onto an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief filed June 2, 2011, asking a federal judge to strike down Utah’s new immigration enforcement law, HB 497. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 7, 2011) The original plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and National Immigration Law Center (NILC), sued the State in May, claiming HB 497 is “preempted” by federal law. They argue: (1) HB 497 impermissibly regulates immigration, (2) parts of HB 497 are inconsistent with federal law, and (3) Mexico has made a “formal complaint” about HB 497. (Plaintiff’s Complaint, filed May 3, 2011; See FAIR Legislative Update, May 16, 2011) The plaintiffs also claim that HB 497 will lead to unlawful detentions and racial profiling by Utah officers, as well as violates the federally guaranteed “right to travel.” (Id.)

Invasion, USA

HB 497 contains enforcement provisions similar to Arizona’s SB 1070, which requires law enforcement officers to verify a person’s immigration status if that person has been lawfully stopped and that person is not carrying one of a handful of documents, including a valid state driver’s license from a state that does not give licenses to illegal aliens. (See FAIR Legislative Update, May 16, 2011)

In the 21-page brief, the foreign governments—which include Argentina, Peru, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Honduras, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala and Brazil—argue HB 497 harms international relations with the United States and should be ruled unconstitutional. (Salt Lake Tribune, June 7, 2011) The brief argues that the law “substantially and inappropriately burdens the consistent sovereign-to-sovereign relations between Mexico and the United States of America, interfering with the strategic diplomatic interests of the two countries and encouraging an imminent threat of state-sanctioned bias or discrimination.” (Id.) The brief continues, “Mexico has a right to protect the interests of its nationals within the limits of international law. Mexico seeks to ensure that its citizens present in the U.S. are accorded the human and civil rights granted under the U.S. Constitution and affirms that HB 497 threatens the human and civil rights of its nationals.” (Id.)

Utah Representative Chris Herrod, a co-sponsor of the bill, called the brief “ridiculous,” saying “I would like to ask the Mexican Government why they think their people are more important than other people trying to come here from other countries.” (Id.)

On May 10, 2011, the day the law was to go into effect, Federal District Judge Clark Waddoups issued a temporary restraining order of HB 497, preventing its implementation. (ABC News, May 11, 2011) The hearing for the case has been scheduled for July 14, 2011. (Id.)

A national group representing gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive individuals has filed a court brief opposing Utah’s new illegal immigration enforcement law.

Immigration Equality contends HB497 could place binational LBGT families in legal jeopardy under a provision that makes it illegal to “harbor” and “shelter” undocumented people.

“Utah’s unconscionable new immigration law actually criminalizes sharing a home with an undocumented person, even if that person is a partner or spouse,” said Victoria Neilson, the group’s legal director. “No one should be arrested for sharing their home with the person they love, but that is the very real possibility presented by this law.” Deseret News, June 13, 2011

Reported by Federation For American Immigration Reform

Category: American Voice, Establishment News

Comments (3)

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  1. American3P says:

    Robot Sam,Please repost comments.Apparently, IntenseDebate thinks you are a spam “Robot”…??Robweb admin– American Third Position : : : American Third Position – New comment requires moderation on: Lesbians, Gays, Mexico, and Thirteen Latin American Countries Ask Court To Strike Down Utah Immigrat

  2. Eric Scott says:

    Illegal immigrants should have no rights and Americans shouldn't fight for them. It's really simple to be an American: first off VISIT the country by going thru customs like the rest of us, hang out for a bit with relatives or friends, apply for a a work visa, find a job, then work your way up to being an American citizen if you want to live and work here. Once an American citizen, share your homeland traditions while embracing the American culture and everything will work out fine. Very important!!! Do your part, save up money, get a passport, and go thru customs. That fucking simple. If those rights get striped then complain. Until then stop coming up with ways and excuses to rape the American people and republic. The price of freedom and liberty is doing your part. Nothing is free and nothing should be given.

  3. JamesinUSA says:

    I would like to say that these foriegn governments have no business in the internal affairs of our nation, but apparently they do, as they send thousands of their poor and uneducated people across our southern border every year to not only have them send back millions of dollars to their native countries, but to also relieve those countries leaders of a growing underclass that threatens their own power.
    The problem, is that it's not in our nations interest to try and maintain these foriegn nations poor economies, that is the direct result of the corruption and social disorder that's so endemic south of our border, or to have to act as a social safty valve for the so-called leadership of these nations to ensure their own power.
    We must stop allowing ourselves to be exploited by these parasitic nations!