Indiana AG Todd Rokita taking on Big Tech, BLM and Biden’s immigration policies in court

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita has mounted a bevy of lawsuits bolstering conservative priorities during his tenure, quickly launching him as a rising star for the Republican Party. 

Rokita’s latest legal challenge came this week against President Joe Biden and many of his administration’s officials over their immigration policies. The lawsuit filed Monday alleges the historically high influx of illegal immigrants through the southern border has created immense drug and human trafficking issues for Indiana and surrounding states. 

“The lawlessness at the southern border has escalated into a crisis in the Midwest – including Indiana,” Rokita said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “Hoosier communities are overwhelmed by cartel-driven human trafficking and drug trafficking while fentanyl overdoses skyrocket. Because of ‘do nothing’ politicians here and in Washington, every state is now a border state – especially Indiana, the Crossroads of America.”

Indiana has joined other states’ lawsuits previously to combat Biden’s immigration policies, but this legal challenge is different, Rokita’s office says. The suit is “based upon damages unique to the Hoosier state,” and data from the Migrant Police Institute that says Indiana plays host to over 100,000 illegal aliens as residents.

“This perverted form of woke ‘Hoosier hospitality’ costs Indiana taxpayers more than $549 million annually,” the release says. 

The lawsuit names Biden, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ur Jaddou as defendants, among others. 

“I refuse to allow Hoosiers’ liberties and security to be eroded by illegal aliens and those who want to stick their heads in the sand pretending we aren’t affected,” he said.

Rokita also filed suit in late April against the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLM) as part of his ongoing investigation into the entity’s dubious financial reports. 

The AG filed a petition to enforce a civil investigative demand on April 28. The initial investigative demand was issued to BLM in February, ordering the organization to provide financial records to determine if BLM had incorrectly filed its taxes, hid financial reports and violated state law by doing so. 

In a 2020 report published by BLM, the organization said it raised over $90 million in 2020 and distributed approximately $21.7 million to 30 local organizations and affiliated chapters, including a chapter in South Bend, Indiana. 

Yet, an IRS filing by BLM for the first half of 2020 strangely listed the organization had $0 in revenue, expenses and assets at the time. This seemed illogical to Rokita, so he filed the initial civil investigative demand seeking financial documents from BLM to “ensure transparency to donors and guarantee funds donated by Indiana residents are used for their intended purpose and not for the personal benefit of BLM directors,” his office said

BLM did not provide the requested financial documents stemming from the first investigative demand, so Rokita’s legal action petitions the court to legally enforce it.

“Our investigation into BLM does not pertain to ideology,” Rokita said in an Op-Ed published in the Washington Examiner. “Rather, our investigation pertains to expectations of ethical, financial and legal propriety on which all honest and law-abiding people can agree.

“The expectation that BLM should operate in an aboveboard manner is hardly a partisan issue. Regardless of your political stance, the integrity of the system and the individuals running nonprofit groups matter.”

Under Indiana state law, failure to comply with the civil investigative demand could result in sanctions against BLM, including barring the entity from any future fundraising in Indiana.

“There are many Indiana stakeholders and donors who have been impacted by these allegations,” Rokita said in a press release. “This lawsuit will allow for a court to swiftly and efficiently resolve the state’s request for information.”

The investigation ultimately seeks to determine whether BLM’s actions and potential hiding of financial records violate either the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act or the Indiana Nonprofit Corporation Act.

Another major legal challenge by Rokita came against Google in January, as Big Tech’s alleged unethical use of user data has made many Americans concerned for their online privacy. 

This lawsuit alleges Google has misled customers by “falsely representing the extent to which users may control how their location data is accessed, stored, used and monetized by Google,” a press release regarding the suit said. 

“Protecting Hoosiers from Big Tech’s deceptive and unfair practices continues to be a major focal point of my administration,” Rokita said. “Consumers tend to believe the promises that companies make to them, and I’m here to hold businesses accountable when they unlawfully betray consumers’ trust.”

Rokita’s lawsuit aims to penalize Google for violations of the Indiana Deceptive Consumer Sales Act and to ensure consumers “can both understand and control the ways in which their personal data is obtained and used.”

The lawsuit alleges that from 2014 through the present, Google has falsely indicated that consumers can protect their privacy through settings preferences that supposedly stopped Google from tracking and using their locations. 

“In reality, however, there is effectively no way for consumers to prevent Google from collecting, storing and profiting from their location data,” the attorney general’s office said. 

Rokita’s office argues most of Google’s revenue comes from targeted advertising and advertising analytics. With the corporation allegedly deceiving consumers into believing their data was protected, Rokita argues those profits were made illegally on the backs of unwitting users. 

“With this lawsuit, Attorney General Rokita seeks to ensure that Hoosiers are no longer coerced into trading away their privacy,” his office said. “Further, he seeks to force Google to disgorge all profits and benefits obtained from its unlawful practices.”

Rokita’s office says it is working in bipartisan collaboration with the attorneys general of the District of Columbia, Texas and the state of Washington – all of whom have also filed lawsuits against Google over its handling of user data. 

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