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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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AG Jackley Joins State Attorneys General and Mississippi Governor in Support of Temporary Immigration Policy

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley has joined 12 State Attorneys General and Governor Phil Bryant of Mississippi in a lawsuit supporting the President’s power to temporarily suspend entry into the United States of two limited classes of identified aliens.


“The President of the United States has extraordinary power and authority to restrict alien entry into the United States for public-safety and national-security reasons.  Because the Executive Order expressly identified a heightened national-security risk on six countries, the President exercised his broad but not unlimited authority to act to protect citizens with a temporary suspension. Our nation’s inconsistent immigration policy is affecting public safety in South Dakota,” said Jackley.


The Attorneys General argue that the challenged Executive Order is a lawful exercise of the President’s authority under the circumstances.  Federal law 8 U.S.C. § 1182(f) gives the President the broad discretion to suspend the entry of any class of aliens.  In recognition of that broad authority, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that there is no “judicial remedy” to override the Executive’s use of the delegated § 1182(f) power to deny classes of aliens entry into the country. See Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc., 509 U.S. 155, 188 (1993).  The broad executive power in § 1182(f) reflects the President’s unique role in protecting our nation. The President’s national-security decisions are “supported by the strongest of presumptions and the widest latitude of judicial interpretation,” Youngstown Sheet and Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 636 (1952) (Jackson, J. concurring). 


The President has temporarily suspended the entry into the United States of two classes of aliens:


  • Nationals of six listed countries, if they are not lawful permanent residents of the United States, were outside this country ten days after the executive order here issued, and do not qualify for other exceptions (such as holding a valid visa ten days after the executive order issued); and 


  • Aliens seeking entry under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.


Executive Order 13780 §§ 2, 3, 6, 82 Fed. Reg. 13209, 13212-16 (Mar. 9, 2017).


The President’s temporary order has been challenged, and the 12 State Attorneys General and Governor of Mississippi have weighed in to support the action taken by our President to protect our national security.  The State Attorneys General and Governor argue they “have a significant interest in protecting their residents’ safety. But because the States possess no authority to restrict or set the terms of aliens’ entry into the United States for public‑safety and national-security reasons, the States and their elected officials rely on the federal Executive Branch to carry out that function, pursuant to the laws of Congress.  See Arizona v. United States, 132 S. Ct. 2492, 2507 (2012).