Ohio: Mestizo Group Sues To Stop State From Canceling Vehicle Registrations

Imagine having to prove you are here legally before registering a vehicle. The audacity! -Ed.

A Latino group is asking a judge to prevent state officials from canceling the registrations of more than 40,000 vehicles apparently driven by undocumented immigrants.

The League of United Latin American Citizens filed the lawsuit against state officials in Franklin County Common Pleas Court this morning.

The legal action comes two weeks before the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles plans to revoke the potentially fraudulently obtained license plates of those who cannot provide proof of legal U.S. residency.

The lawsuit, which seeks a preliminary injunction to prevent the state from canceling registrations effective Dec. 8, claims the move is an illegal state foray into immigration matters, which are a federal responsibility. A hearing on the requested injunction is set for Dec. 1

Lawyers were met with applause from a largely Latino crowd of 200 people late this morning as they provided details of the lawsuit at Downtown’s Trinity Episcopal Church.

Joseph Mas, who represents Latino business owners supporting the legal action, declared that the BMV move was illegally targeted at immigrants. "This is an unconstitutional attempt to enforce immigration laws at the state level," he said.

Dennis Muchnicki, a Dublin immigration lawyer who filed the lawsuit bankrolled by hundreds of donations from Ohio’s Latino community, accused the state of "bureaucratic whim and caprice" that will harm thousands of families.