Utah Agrees to Restrict Immigration Checks in ACLU Accord

Updated on

Utah agreed not to enforce a state law allowing police to stop people to question them about their immigration status.

The agreement, reached with the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups, authorized officials to conduct an immigration status check only during a lawful detention or arrest, or after a detainee has been released, according to a federal court filing today in Salt Lake City.

The agreement doesn’t permit any “independent basis for stops” and detentions can’t be prolonged merely to confirm a person’s immigration status, according to the settlement.

“Utah’s decision to settle this case sends a clear message to states and cities across the country that they have no business stopping or detaining people just because of suspicions about their immigration status,” Jennifer Chang Newell of the ACLU said in an e-mailed statement.

In July, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups barred the state from enforcing parts of the law, which the ACLU argued violated constitutional protections again unreasonable seizures and arrests. His approval is required for the settlement to take effect.

Missy Larsen, a spokeswoman for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, declined to comment on the agreement.

The case is Utah Coalition of La Raza v. Herbert, 11-cv-00401, U.S. District Cour, District of Utah (Central Division).