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Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert (2014)

02 June 2014 Published in Resolved Cases


Immigrants' Rights, Racial Justice - On May 3, 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Utah, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and the law firm of Munger, Tolles, & Olsen filed a class action lawsuit in federal district court challenging Utah’s HB 497. HB 497 gives law enforcement the authority to demand “papers” demonstrating citizenship or immigration status during traffic stops, much like Arizona’s SB 1070. The lawsuit charged that HB 497 is unconstitutional in that it violates the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, Fourth Amendment, Equal Protection Clause, and the right to travel. The federal district court promptly blocked implementation of the law. In an Order issued Tuesday, February 21, 2012, Judge Clark Waddoups announced that he will wait to issue a decision on our request for a Preliminary Injunction (“PI”) in UCLR v. Herbert (“UCLR”), Utah’s HB 497 “Show Me Your Papers” lawsuit, until the Supreme Court issues its decision in an Arizona case that raises similar legal questions to some of the issues raised here in Utah. On June 18, 2014, the court issued a decision blocking several key provisions of the law that would have allowed police to arrest certain potentially deportable immigrants and that would have criminalized everyday activities, such as driving an undocumented immigrant to the store. The order also severely limited implementation of several provisions of the law.

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