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Litigation Update: Nine MIJA Members Challenge Being Called “Illegal Aliens” Under LR-121

6297D3F7D6133398AB72C8DF8DE5D182_292_292We’d like to update you on the progress of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”)’s lawsuit to challenge and enjoin implementation of LR-121. We filed this lawsuit along with our co-Plaintiffs MEA-MFT and Alisha Blair (a 22 year old U.S. citizen who would be caught up in this scheme because she does not have proof of her citizenship).

On February 7th, the Honorable Judge Jeffrey Sherlock held a hearing on our request to enjoin the law, so that it cannot be enforced while our lawsuit is pending. Plaintiff Alisha Blair courageously testified about how LR-121 would affect her . She was joined by Andrea Carlson, a member of MIJA who was recently in removal proceedings until immigration attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath proved her citizenship. Ms. Carlson was recently in the news herself when she took her oath of citizenship.

As of today, no decision has been made on our request to enjoin LR-121. In the meantime, the State of Montana filed a motion to dismiss our lawsuit for lack of standing — contending that the Plaintiffs have not demonstrated that anyone would be harmed by LR-121.

Today, we filed our response to challenge the state’s assertions, attaching affidavits of nine MIJA members who came forward to tell the court how they would be injured by LR-121. These affidavits share compelling stories about the real human beings who will be caught up in this badly designed law. Several of these members entered the United States illegally, but went through long and difficult processes to get their green cards. They now live here legally with their families. Nevertheless, LR-121 conflicts with federal law by saying that anyone who illegally entered the country is an “illegal alien” and will be denied state services — even if they now have green cards.

At our main litigation page, you can download copies of the complaint and briefs. You can also learn more about the basis for our legal challenge, asserting the violation of the right to privacy, violation of due process, violation of the equal protection clause, and preemption by federal law.

This litigation is being done on a pro bono basis by Brian J. Miller of Morrison, Motl and Sherwood, PLLP, and Shahid Haque-Hausrath of the Border Crossing Law Firm, P.C. (also President of MIJA).

We are proud to stand up against LR-121. This litigation is costly and time-consuming, and we need your help. Please consider sending us a donation to support this lawsuit.

Stay tuned for more updates as this litigation develops!


  1. […] it based on threatened injury. Nevertheless, this familiar argument was exactly the same one that members of the Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance (“MIJA”) faced after they brought their legal challenge to Montana’s new anti-immigrant […]