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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Noem: South Dakota will take refugees

    Noem: South Dakota will take refugees

    December 20, 2019


    Gov. Kristi Noem notified the Trump administration on Thursday that South Dakota will continue to accept refugees who are resettled in the United States next year.

    In September, Trump issued an executive order allowing states and local governments to opt out of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. Prior to the executive order, the federal government was only required to consult with states.

    Noem complimented the Trump administration for increasing scrutiny and security checks for applicants seeking refugee status.

    More: Refugee resettlement in South Dakota expected to plummet

    “Thanks to the leadership of President Trump, the strengthened screening process for refugees entering the United States can give South Dakotans increased confidence that those entering are coming for the right reasons,” she said in a statement. “For the communities that want to welcome these refugees, I support giving them that opportunity.”

    Gov. Kristi Noem announces her 2021 budget to legislators at the Capitol in Pierre on Dec. 3, 2019.

    Lisa Kaczke/Argus Leader

    More: Noem asked state agencies to cut costs. But these groups may see more money.

    Noem’s consent ends on Dec. 31, 2020, and she said she reserves the right to withdraw that consent. Local governments in the state can also opt out.

    The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program will take a maximum of 18,000 refugees next year after the Trump administration reduced the current cap of 30,000. Refugee advocates criticized the reduction, which the administration announced in September, but the Trump administration defended the decision because of the caseload of amnesty seekers at the nation’s southern border with Mexico.

    South Dakota joins a list of nearly two dozen other states that have consented to take refugees in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of State.

    In her letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Noem thanked the administration for taking states’ rights into account.

    Noem also joined Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts in a separate letter to Trump, thanking him for his administration’s decision to enhance security screenings for refugees entering the United States.

    The letter says refugee adjudicators for the State Department have more time to screen applicants and more latitude to deny applications. The screening process includes social media checks and the use of additional databases, and family members of refugees who have already been allowed into the United States must go through the same vetting process.

    The number of refugees resettled in South Dakota has dropped sharply. There were 130 in the last fiscal year compared to 495 in fiscal year 2015, according to Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, which is the state’s refugee resettlement agency.

    That follows a national trend. Last year’s cap of 30,000 was more than the 22,491 that were settled the year before, but below the 84,994 refugees who came in fiscal year 2016.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 12-21-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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  2. #2
    Administrator ALIPAC's Avatar
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    Tell Your Governor not to consent to refugee resettlement
    (Special calls needed to 3 governors supporting the invasion)
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