By Jackelyn SeverinThe House State Affairs committee killed an immigration bill similar to Arizona's immigration law passed last year. Representative Manny Steele of Sioux Falls is the main sponsor of the bill. Steele and other proponents of the measure say illegal immigration is becoming a problem in South Dakota and House Bill 1198 strengthens federal immigration laws. Opponents say the bill could lead to racial profiling.Mike Levson is Mayor of Aberdeen. He says House Bill 1198 puts an unnecessary burden on local law enforcement officers who don't have the time or training to deal with immigration issues. “One reasonable suspicion event where an officer is required by this law to follow through and check it out could occupy him for hours in a day and we just don’t have the time,” says Levson, “So this is a budget breaker for us. In a time of tough budgets this would either force us to cut back on our police activities or spend a lot more money with a lot more police.”The committee killed the bill by a vote of 11 to 2.
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