Attorney general intervenes in case involving sheriff’s department

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has filed a motion to intervene in a federal case.

His goal is to defend Indiana’s law prohibiting local governments from establishing policies against cooperating with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws, he said in a news release.

The case is¬†Antonio Lopez-Aguilar vs. Marion County Sheriff’s Department, et al.

“On Nov. 7, a federal judge approved a consent decree in this case between the two parties in which both agreed that the defendant — the Marion County Sheriff’s Department — would not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention requests. Because both the defendant and plaintiff supported the consent decree, the Attorney General said, no one in the case represented Indiana’s legitimate interest in upholding state law. In addition, he said, no one notified the Office of Attorney General about the case before the consent decree was entered,” the release said.

The case stems from a September 2014 incident in which federal authorities asked the sheriff’s department to detain Lopez-Aguilar until ICE officers could take him into custody for allegedly being in the country illegally. At the time, Lopez-Aguilar was appearing in Marion County Traffic Court on a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license.

Such a decree, Hill said in the release, runs counter to Indiana law and public safety.