June 2, 2021 — On Wednesday May 26, 2021, while on The Sean Hannity Show, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem threatened to cut state funding to agencies working with children legally seeking refuge in South Dakota.
Governor Noem stated:
"We were very bold about telling them, do not send us unaccompanied children, and very bold in telling the federal government that we did not want to participate in what they're doing to threaten our national security. They don't have to notify us, they don't have to get our approval as governors to put these children or put unvetted refugees into our states. I can communicate, however, with the people who run those programs in my state, and they do receive state dollars, and so they need to know that those are threatened, if they're threatening the people of South Dakota, it is my job as governor, to protect them and to put the people of South Dakota first and I will do it and yes use every tool that I have."
The facts are:
The children from Central America who are legally seeking refuge in South Dakota go to our state-funded schools, get food through state-funded agencies, and play at our state-funded parks and swimming pools. These children also receive services through agencies protecting victims of child abuse and child sexual assault like the state-funded State’s Attorney’s Offices, police departments, and Department of Social Services.
“Threatening to cut funding for essential services to South Dakotan children’s health and well-being is a new low for Governor Noem,” said SD Voices for Peace Executive Director Taneeza Islam. “There have never been any ‘unvetted refugees’ in South Dakota and the governor knows it. Her behavior deliberately plays on people’s racial fears, using pure fiction about terrorism and innocent children to scare people for her own political gain. Her methods are dangerous and need to end.”