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Governor, SD Sheriffs Association release joint statement in response to DHS rules complicating arrest of illegal immigrants

PIERRE, S.D. — Governor Kristi Noem today released the following joint statement with the South Dakota Sheriffs Association in response to new guidance from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas outlining guidelines for ICE and CBP officers who encounter illegal immigrants:


“Our sheriffs and police cannot legally enforce our nation’s immigration laws.  We rely on the federal government to do its constitutional duty.  These guidelines from Secretary Mayorkas provide an inappropriate roadmap for immigrants who come into our country illegally and avoid the federal law enforcement officers who work to counter illegal immigrants. This new policy by DHS makes communities across America – including South Dakota – less safe. This administration is not only rolling out the red carpet for illegal immigrants, but also handcuffing its own federal law enforcement officers, who want nothing more than to enforce our immigration laws.”


The letter, sent on October 27th, gives specific guidelines for enforcement action by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in or near protected areas. The letter defines protest rallies and demonstrations as safe harbors for immigrants rather than constitutionally-protected areas for citizens. Other safe harbors include hospitals and other healthcare facilities, as well as places where children gather, such as playgrounds or school bus stops.


“Protecting women who have been abused or trafficked, as well as children, is a moral imperative,” Governor Noem said. “This administration goes too far by extending protections to economic migrants as well as the predators who are trafficking women and children, or drugs, or planning violent criminal activity. The truth is these guidelines hinder law enforcement’s pursuit of illegal immigrants until after a crime has taken place. That’s a blatant disregard for public safety and puts our citizens in harm’s way.”