ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION COSTING STATE $32 MILLION
IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT BILL SET FOR HEARING
ABERDEEN, S.D. (Feb. 16, 2017) – “Illegal immigration according to estimates is costing South Dakota taxpayers over $32 million dollars annually, and people in affected areas are burdened by the dramatically increasing violent crime” said South Dakota Senator and Attorney General candidate Lance Russell.
At a press conference today in Aberdeen, Russell announced his Immigration Enforcement Bill, Senate Bill 193, which has been set for hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee this coming Thursday, Feb. 22.
Aberdeen has seen an influx of immigration and a significant increase in their crime rate over the past few years, which today outpaces the state in property and violent crimes, with a crime rate that is 12% higher than the state’s average. In 2009, South Dakota saw one of its largest increases in its’ immigrant and refugee population, totaling 1,811 people settling in the state, with a number being relocated to Aberdeen. During the same time period, from 2009 to 2010, Aberdeen saw a spike in crime, with a 39% increase in the crimes investigated year-over-year.
“We welcome all who legally come to this country to find a better life. This is the American Dream,” said Senator Russell. “We should not be inviting law-breakers into our state, with over 5,000 estimated illegal immigrants here today who are statistically proven more likely to commit serious crimes.”
This is an issue Senator Russell says he dealt with in his years as the Fall River and Shannon County State’s Attorney, where he says he prosecuted a number of illegal aliens for serious crimes, but found it difficult to do so at times without the tools to enforce the laws in place, something he plans to address as Attorney General.
“It’s right at our door-step,” said Senator Russell, noting that the announcement of the Immigration Enforcement Bill’s hearing comes at the one-year anniversary of the passage of a sanctuary campus resolution by the University of South Dakota’s Student Government Association. Passed on Feb. 14, 2017, it was an open invitation to those who would enter illegally, and who have a track record of further lawless behavior. Senator Russell’s Immigration Enforcement Bill would curb such actions by any authorities of South Dakota’s institutions of higher education or local governments.
Senator Russell is one of four candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the position of Attorney General. Candidates will be nominated during the Republican Party’s State Convention this year in June.