Attorney General: Arizona Immigration Law ruling doesn't affect South Dakota efforts
South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling against the Arizona Immigration Law does not affect existing South Dakota law or enforcement efforts.
In July 2010, the federal government filed a suit challenging Arizona's new law governing state immigration enforcement. Attorney General Marty Jackley joined several other states' attorneys general in support of Arizona's immigration law.
"While a state should be able to extend its enforcement efforts when federal authorities fail to respond, the Supreme Court has fortunately rejected the federal government's dangerous position ‘that the power to regulate immigration is vested exclusively in the federal government'," stated Attorney General Jackley.
In the Arizona Immigration Law decision, the Supreme Court ruled the Supremacy Clause gives Congress the power to preempt state law and that state law must give way to federal law in at least two circumstances.
First, states cannot enforce a law that Congress has determined to regulate exclusively. Second, state laws are negated when the law is in opposition of the objectives Congress wants to achieve.
Although the Arizona decision specifies limited circumstances in which state officers may perform an immigration officer's functions, it clearly recognized that federal law permits state officers to "cooperate with the Attorney General in the identification, apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens not lawfully present in the United States."
According to the South Dakota Attorney General's Office, the Arizona decision directed that if a state law only requires state officers to conduct a status check during the course of an authorized, lawful detention or after a detainee has been released, the provision would likely survive federal scrutiny.
"South Dakota presently enjoys and will strive to continue our tradition of cooperative immigration enforcement with our local federal partners, which is supported by the language and directive of today's Arizona decision," Jackley said.
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