Press "Enter" to skip to content

GOP Immigration Posturing Proves SD Legislature Getting Dumber

Arrgghh: the Republican supermajority in our South Dakota Legislature is already proving its inability to use its powers for good. With a giant budget deficit and persistent school funding problems, the Republicans are determined to ignore our real problems and fight the illegal immigrant boogeyman.

Proof of idiocy:

  1. State Rep. Manny Steele (R-12/Sioux Falls) wants to make it a crime to give an illegal immigrant a home or a ride in South Dakota. But he wants to exempt from punishment the real causes of the problem: the employers who demand cheap illegal immigrant labor. Steele says it would be unfair to punish employers, because "Most employers don't have the training—what's a legal or an illegal immigration document." But landlords and good Samaritan motorists do? Seriously?
  2. State Senator-Elect Angie Buhl (D-15/Sioux Falls) points out that Rep. Steele's legislation would make a criminal out of a citizen who gives an illegal immigrant woman beaten by her husband a ride to a domestic abuse shelter. Steele would bust someone like that, but not a mega-dairy that hires dozens of illegal workers to cut costs.
  3. Attorney General Marty Jackley doesn't want to give illegal immigrants a home. He's helping the Republican yahoos write their distracting legislation, but he says he doesn't want to spend tax dollars to put illegal immigrants in South Dakota jails.
  4. State Rep. Lora Hubbel (R-11/Sioux Falls) must live in an alternative reality. She claims illegal immigration came up regularly during her door-knocking. She tells that Sioux Falls paper, "The voters don't care about the same things (the local media) care about.... They don't care about school budgets. They're concerned about the federal government taking their rights away." We don't care about school budgets... no, Lora, I think you're mistaking the Republican caucus for the general public.

Wow. If you thought Don Kopp and Kristi Noem made South Dakota look dumb with their astrology legislation, just wait for the 2011 Republican Legislature. It's going to be a doozy.


  1. Matt 2010.11.29

    Obama has deported more undocumented immigrants than Bush.

    This year Obama's deportation rate is up by 10 percent from Bush's rate in 2008 and 25 percent more than Bush's rate in 2007.

    Meanwhile, South Dakota only deported 5 individuals in the first 5 months of ICE's Sec. Com. program.

    Look at how much money the SB1070 boycotts took from the tourism industry in AZ-that state may lose $80 million in the next five years.

    It seems that $80 million is a lot to lose over 5 undocumented immigrants.

  2. Bill Fleming 2010.11.29

    I agree with Matt, and you Cory. It's just goofy, and could have some severe (if unintended) consequences. Can you imagine what a boycott of SD could do to our tourism industry?

  3. Rick Hauffe 2010.11.29

    Is Don Kopp going to be the prime sponsor of the resolution linking illegal aliens with astrological factors?

  4. Mike Stunes 2010.11.29

    The I-9 form, with its list of approved documents, isn't good enough for employers?

  5. caheidelberger 2010.11.29

    The I-9 is what I'll be asking all my hitchhikers to display.

  6. Anonymous 2010.11.30

    After listening to the sheriff from AZ speak at Abdallah's game feed, I wish I had time to write about the seriousness of this issue for the Country and South Dakota. I don't think your ad hominem attacks do it justice.

    There is one obvious policy comment you should be making about the proposal. For it to work, you have to focus on the economics - you need to penalize employers that create jobs. If you cut off the money, you start to address the problem. You still have the volumes of money flowing through these channels with the drug cartels - but that needs border defense, probably not greater efforts in South Dakota.

    Lee Schoenbeck

  7. caheidelberger 2010.11.30

    Lee, alongside my ad-homina (Latin plural! ;-) ), I'm making exactly that policy critique: our legislators are wasting their time discussing around-the-edges posturing that won't contribute to real solutions of the problem. Punishing landlords and good samaritans while giving immunity to employers totally misses the problem.

    And if my comment on Rep-Elect Hubbel is ad hominem, well, she has it coming. Any legislator who believes people don't care about school budgets is woefully mistaken. And even if she can find some yokels who will say they don't care about school budgets, I find it appalling that she as a legislator would agree with them and not consider education, the largest single chunk of our state budget, a priority. We have an obligation to correct such people and convince them that they should care about school budgets.

  8. Troy Jones 2010.11.30

    Since Cory believes ad hominem attacks are justifiable, anything Cory says should be disregarded since he thinks stealing from old folks is ok so long as you are a libera.

  9. caheidelberger 2010.11.30

    Kevin, good point! But I notice that SDCL 20-9-4.1 refers to civil damages. Does that mean we could still get busted with criminal penalties for giving an illegal immigrant a ride to the hospital or picking up Pedro in my boat during a flood?

  10. caheidelberger 2010.11.30

    And hold on, Troy: my argument does not hinge on ad hominem. I'm not saying, "This legislation is bad because the legislators proposing it are bad"—that would be the ad hominem fallacy writ large, much like your own comment. I'm criticizing the legislators because they are proposing bad, ineffective legislation.

Comments are closed.