PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied the Obama administration’s request to begin implementation of his suspension of immigration laws. South Dakota joined 26 State Attorneys General and Governors in December 2014 in a lawsuit challenging the executive action set forth by President Obama, which exceeds his authority on immigration reform.
“This case is about following the rule of law. The President’s unilateral action would have forced the States to expend substantial resources on law enforcement, healthcare, and education without any voice. It is time for Washington to have a meaningful discussion on immigration reform that addresses the workforce needs of the States and immigrants as well as our national security,” said Jackley.
On November 20, 2014, the President of the United States announced that he would unilaterally suspend immigration laws as applied to 4 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. In addition, the Secretary for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a directive that legalizes the presence of approximately 40% of the known undocumented immigrant population, and afford them legal rights and benefits. The Federal Court has enjoined the President from “implementing any and all aspects or phases of the expansions.”
The States argued the President was abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite laws, which he had no authority to do – something the President himself had previously admitted. This executive action conflicts with the President’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” There was no cost to South Dakota in joining the State challenge which was led by Texas Attorney General.