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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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South Dakota Continues its Support of Limited State Authority Over Immigration Enforcement


PIERRE, S.D. –    Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that South Dakota has joined with other states in support of Arizona’s ability to exercise limited authority over federal crimes that are committed within its borders. In the brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, the States argue their own inherent powers include the authority to arrest and assist the federal government in enforcing immigration law. 
“This case presents an important and cost effective opportunity to provide guidance to the South Dakota legislature in determining our future immigration enforcement policy,” said Jackley. “South Dakota presently enjoys and will strive to continue our tradition of cooperative immigration enforcement with our local federal law enforcement partners.”
On July 6, 2010, the federal government filed suit challenging Arizona law governing state immigration enforcement. South Dakota joined several states in the capacity as amicus curiae, or friend of the court. The federal trial court concluded that several provisions of the Arizona law went beyond the State’s enforcement authority. However, the federal court rejected the federal government’s argument “that the power to regulated immigration is vested exclusively in the federal government.” The federal court went on to recognize that “federal immigration law also envisions certain areas of cooperation in immigration enforcement among the federal government and state and local governments.” On April 11, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a divided decision, upheld the federal trial court’s ban on parts of the law taking effect.
The State of Arizona has now petitioned the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. South Dakota has joined with other states in support of this request. The States’ brief continues to address immigration enforcement, as well as the States’ interest in ensuring their sovereignty is protected. The States argue that federal law and public safety are fostered when law enforcement officials arrest an individual and refer the person to the federal government when there is probable cause that the individual has committed a removable offense.
South Dakota remains with several states in the capacity of amicus curiae, or friend of the court-not as a party defendant. The State of Michigan has taken the lead role of the amicus states, and it is anticipated that South Dakota will not bear any costs associated with its supportive and advisory role.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :   Wednesday, September 21, 2011
CONTACT: Sara Rabern, (605) 773-3215