AG Curtis Hill Seeks To Intervene In Federal Immigration Case Involving Marion County Sheriff’s Department


Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today that he has filed a motion to intervene in the federal case Antonio Lopez-Aguilar vs. Marion County Sheriff’s Department, et al. The motion to intervene was filed in order to defend Indiana’s law prohibiting local governments from establishing policies against cooperating with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.

On November 7, 2017, 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 case stems from a September 2014 incident in which federal authorities asked the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to detain Antonio 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, Attorney General Hill said, runs counter to Indiana law and public safety. “Our nation’s immigration laws are put in place to protect the public. Establishing a policy that requires law enforcement personnel to not cooperate with each other not only violates Indiana law but jeopardizes public safety,” said Attorney General Hill.