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Read the Federal Judge’s Ruling

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Read the Federal Judge’s Ruling


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Case 1:23-cv-22655-RKA Document 99 Entered on FLSD Docket 05/22/2024 Page 25 of 40
from another country” could refer to “alien[s] or citizen[s].” Ibid. In other words, according to the
Defendants, “[Section] 787.07 does not regulate aliens, and it does not turn on a person’s unlawful
presence. Rather, whether alien or citizen, legally present or illegally present, individuals may not be
transported into Florida unless the federal government has had the opportunity to ‘inspect them.” Id.
at 15–16. The Plaintiffs, they add, “present no argument that Congress has exclusively occupied the
field of ‘transporting individuals who have not been inspected across state lines.”” Id. at 16.
We’re not persuaded. For one thing, common sense dictates that the category of uninspected
citizens as opposed to uninspected aliens-covers a relatively small (and statistically insignificant)
subset of people. At our preliminary-injunction hearing, the Defendants agreed that this group would
be composed of “U.S. citizens” coming back from, say, “the Bahamas with a bunch of people on [a]
boat, or drugs.]” Dec. 13, 2023, Hr❜g Tr. at 97:16–19. This is undoubtedly a “miniscule category[.]”
Reply at 6. For another, the Supreme Court has made clear that, “[w]here Congress occupies an entire
field, . . . even complementary state regulation is impermissible.” Arizona, 567 U.S. at 401. This is
because “[f]ield preemption reflects a congressional decision to foreclose any state regulation in the
area, even if it is parallel to federal standards.” Ibid. (emphasis added); see also KVUE, Inc. v. Moore, 709
F.2d 922, 931 (5th Cir. 1983) (“If preempted, a complementary or supplementary state regulation is
as invalid as one directly conflicting with the federal scheme, for preemption forbids state regulation
either to advance or to retard the federal purpose.”). In this case, it’d be difficult to argue that Section
10 is not at least complementary to the federal immigration scheme: The parties agree that, under
Eleventh Circuit precedent, states may not enact laws that regulate the “unlawful transport and
movement of aliens,” Ga. Latino, 691 F.3d at 1264, and Section 10-by its own terms-regulates the
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See Response at 15 (“The first step in evaluating field preemption is to identify a field … . Yet
Plaintiffs do not clearly indicate the applicable field. Instead, they cite [Georgia Latino] ad nauseum . . . .
In that case,
however, the preempted field was ‘prohibitions on the transportation, harboring, and
inducement of unlawfully present aliens.””).
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