Indiana is one of a handful of states to have passed its own comprehensive and tough immigration laws. However, as a starting point, it is important to be aware of the relationship and tension between state and federal law when it comes to subjects involving immigration. Below you will find information on what, if any, rules Indiana has regarding immigration checks by law enforcement, educational institutions, and employers, as well as the existence of E-Verify requirements, restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status, and more. Please be sure to check with local authorities or a qualified local attorney for more comprehensive information and the latest developments with respect to the law, as many of the provisions below are subject to court challenges and some have been blocked.
Law Enforcement and Immigration in Indiana
Indiana's strict 2011 law authorized state and local police officers to arrest individuals who were subject to removal (deportation) orders or similar proceedings; but a federal judge blocked that provision. Additionally, under a federal program, all individuals arrested are fingerprinted and run through a database which checks their immigration status individually.
Under federal laws, employers should refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules, as well as the requirements for Form I-9.
Indiana E-Verify Requirements
Recent Indiana legislation requires that state and local government agencies, as well as government contractors, use E-Verify. The law does not require that private employers use E-Verify, although they are permitted to do so. The law does, however, offer some protections and incentives to employers that choose to use E-Verify to confirm the employment eligibility of new hires. In addition, there are some penalties imposed on employers who are found to be employing unauthorized immigrant workers, and who did not use E-Verify.
Driver's License/ID Requirements
Applicants for driver's licenses in Indiana must bring documents to their local branch of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to prove their name and date of birth, Social Security number, lawful status in the United States, and Indiana residency.
Public Benefits Restrictions
Under federal law, illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving public benefits, although they are allowed to receive emergency services, health care, and other programs that have been identified as "necessary to protect life and safety." Additionally, Indiana's law requires that state agencies and divisions verify individuals' eligibility for public benefits. However, health care providers are not required to verify eligibility for emergency care services.
Indiana's law prohibits illegal immigrants from receiving the in-state tuition rate, as well as financial aid benefits.
Voter ID Rules
Indiana law requires voters to provide photo identification at the polling booth prior to casting a ballot. Acceptable types include driver's licenses, passports, state ID's, and some student ID's. Individuals who are unable to provide an acceptable photo ID will be able to vote using a provisional ballot, but will have to provide acceptable ID to officials within six (6) days of the election or sign an affidavit in order for their vote to count.
Housing Ordinances and Immigration
Questions About Indiana State Immigration Laws? Talk to an Attorney
Although mainly under federal jurisdiction, there may be Indiana laws that affect your immigration statuts. It's a good idea to contact a qualified immigration attorney to learn more about immigration laws and find out how they apply to your specific circumstances.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.