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Immigration Law

La. Ct. App. on 'Driving While Undocumented' Statute, Preemption: State v. Sarrabea

"Defendant argues La.R.S. 14:100.13 is an unconstitutional attempt to preempt federal law because it attempts to preempt the field of alien registration which is occupied by federal law.  Thus, he asserts, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to convict him.  In support of this assertion Defendant cites Arizona v. United States, 576 U.S. ___, 132 S.Ct. 2492 (2012).  We find the decision in Arizona dispositive in this case and binding upon this court. ... We find La.R.S. 14:100.13 is an impermissible attempt by Louisiana to regulate matters in a field already preempted by federal law. ... To put it plain and simple, La.R.S. 14:100.13 is preempted by federal law; and the State of Louisiana lacks Constitutional authority to enforce it. Defendant‘s conviction and sentence are reversed and set aside.  All costs of this appeal are assessed against the State of Louisiana." - State v. Sarrabea, May 1, 2013.