NILC, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants’ Rights Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Louisiana filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the Louisiana Supreme Court in the cases of State v. Bonifacio Ramirez and State v. Marquez, challenging a state law that puts foreign exchange students and construction workers rebuilding the state after hurricanes Katrina, Isaac, and Rita at risk of a felony conviction for doing nothing more than drive a car.
In Dec. 2006, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal issued a landmark ruling affirming a lower court decision that threw out criminal charges against a man who had been charged under a Louisiana statute, LSA-R.S. 14:100.13, which makes it a felony for “alien students” and “nonresident aliens” to drive a vehicle without documentation demonstrating that their presence in the United States is lawful. The Fourth Circuit has jurisdiction over much of the greater New Orleans area — Orleans, St. Bernard, and Plaquemines Parishes. (Read more in this Immigrants' Rights Update article published Apr. 25, 2007.)
State of Louisiana v. Omar Barrientos,
No. 06-1726 (La. 24th Jud. Dist. Ct. Jefferson Parish Jan. 31, 2007) (PDF)
Court finds that the Louisiana "driving without lawful presence" statute constitutes "an impermissible attempt to regulate immigration and conflicts with federal immigration law."
State of Louisiana v. Juan Herrera,
No. 467-763 “K” (La. Crim. Dist. Ct. Orleans Parish Feb. 1, 2007 (PDF)
Court finds that "the defendant's arrest pursuant to LSA-R.S. 14:100.13 was made without probable cause, because it was the result of a selective enforcement policy profiling, targeting and arresting Latino drivers."