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Utah’s “Show Me Your Papers” Law Hearing Postponed; U.S. Department of Justice May Intervene

13 September 2011 Published in Newsroom

Utah’s “Show Me Your Papers” Law Hearing Postponed; U.S. Department of Justice May Intervene


Court’s Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Utah’s Anti-Immigrant Law Will Remain In Effect

September 13, 2011

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The federal district court today granted a request by the Utah Attorney General’s Office to delay a hearing regarding the state’s anti-immigrant law. Utah requested the delay because of possible future involvement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in the lawsuit.

DOJ has not filed a lawsuit against Utah’s law, but has done so with similar anti-immigrant laws in Arizona and Alabama. The hearing on Utah’s law, HB 497, was originally set for Friday but has been rescheduled for Nov. 18.

Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, said: “It’s welcome news that the United States is taking a hard look at Utah’s ‘show me your papers’ law and we hope the federal government will bring suit here, as it has in Arizona and Alabama. Extremist measures that trample on our basic civil liberties have no place in America.”

Karen McCreary, executive director of the ACLU of Utah, said: “We have received calls of support from around the state regarding our efforts to permanently block this discriminatory law. In the meantime, Utahns can rest easy that the court’s order delaying its implementation is still in effect.”

Karen Tumlin, managing attorney of the National Immigration Law Center, said: “Although we look forward to permanently removing HB 497 from Utah’s law books, this delay provides a window of opportunity for the federal government: The Department of Justice can and should do as they have done in Arizona and Alabama and sue to stop Utah and other states from unconstitutionally treading on executive authority.”

The law, which is the subject of a class-action challenge brought by the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU and the ACLU of Utah, will remain under the temporary restraining order imposed on May 11.