Gov. Noem responds to presidential executive order on refugee resettlement
PIERRE, S.D. — Governor Kristi Noem issued a letter of consent to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, in response to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump concerning enhanced state and local involvement in refugee resettlement.
Along with enhancing state involvement in the refugee resettlement program, the State Department has implemented greater oversight and a higher standard of screening than previously administered.
Adjudicators now have more time to screen and collect data on applicants, and will be allowed more latitude in how they deny applicants. Adjudicators will have access to more national security databases to deepen the vetting process.
Additionally, President Trump implemented a change to federal immigration policy by establishing a refugee admissions ceiling of 18,000 into the country.
“These assurances and a responsible screening process ensure that South Dakota’s interests are best protected so we can support continued participation in the program,” said Governor Noem.
Lutheran Social Services is the South Dakota Refugee Resettlement Agency and asked Noem to sign a consent letter so they may continue providing these services.
“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,” continued Noem. “For the communities that want to welcome these refugees, I support giving them that opportunity.”
Per the process outlined in Trump’s executive order, the decision to resettle is now in the hands of local authorities.
“Signing this consent letter allows the discussion to continue community by community throughout our great state. I’ve always believed that the best decisions are made at the local level, so I appreciate the administration’s invitation to contribute in this way,” Noem concluded.
South Dakota’s neighboring states have also consented to the executive order including North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
This consent letter will be in effect until December 2020.