Would lawmaker’s refugee ban bill survive in court?

Photo: ZUMA Press

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - Critics say a bill aiming to suspend refugee resettlement into South Dakota from countries on "any federal travel ban list" would be struck down by the courts if it becomes law.

A state Senate committee on Wednesday plans to debate Republican Sen. Neal Tapio's bill, which would also direct the state to refuse "chain migration" from citizens of countries on such a list.

That system gives advantages to the relatives of legal immigrants.

Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota, says the bill is unconstitutional. She says states don't have veto power over the federal government's resettlement of refugees.

Tapio, a congressional candidate, says a potential legal challenge would be worth fighting. He says the federal government doesn't have the right to "make your neighborhood less safe."