The Argus Leader reported that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem informed the Trump administration last Thursday that South Dakota will continue taking in refugees who will be resettled in the United States in 2020.
Back in September, Trump signed an executive order letting states and local governments opt out of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program. Before this executive order was issued, the federal government only had to consult with states.
Noem commended the Trump administration for increasing background checks for applicants trying to seek refugee status.
“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,” Noem said in a statement. “For the communities that want to welcome these refugees, I support giving them that opportunity.
The period of Noem’s consent ends on Dec. 31, 2020, and she declared that she reserves the right to rescind that consent. Local governments in South Dakota can also exercise their right to opt out.
The U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program will bring in a maximum of 18,000 refugees in 2020 after the Trump administration lowered the current cap of 30,000. Refugee advocates criticized Trump’s reduction. The Trump administration stood by its decision due to ongoing pressure from amnesty seekers at the southern border.
South Dakota is part of a list of about two dozen states that have consented to bringing in refugees in 2020, according to the State Department. In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Noem thanked the Trump administration for respecting states’ rights.
Noem has joined Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum in opening up their states to refugees. Although these are lower numbers, Republican Governors should take stronger stances against resettlement and entertain the categorical rejection of refugees, unless they provide skills and other aptitudes that enhance American interests.
The U.S. should also pressure foreign countries, specifically in the Middle East, to do their part by accepting these refugees.
Texas Political Establishment Attempts to Derail Shelley Luther’s Campaign
The special election for Texas’ Senate District 30 is on pace to be one of the most heated races in the Lone Star State.
At a candidate forum on September 18, 2020, Shelley Luther, the Dallas salon owner who was jailed for opening her business in defiance of Governor Greg Abbott’s shutdown order, confronted outgoing State Senator Pat Fallon.
Fallon vacated his seat and is now backing a successor in State Representative Drew Springer.
“We don’t want somebody who’s going to be at odds with our Republican governor,” Fallon said September 18 at the Grayson County Republican Women’s Club.
I didn’t support some of the things that he has done about opening up. … So, he’s made some mistakes. He’s our Republican governor, the 80/20 rule … because you’re not going to get any bills passed unless the governor signs them.
“Let me make something clear. I am accountable to my fellow citizens in Senate District 30. Not our Governor,” Luther responded on September 19 on Facebook:
This is exactly what is wrong with Austin. Our politicians are more loyal to Abbott than us, even when they disagree with him.
I will work with Governor Abbott when he is fighting to protect the liberty of Texans, and I will oppose him when he pushes unilateral dictates that shut down our local businesses.
Fallon and Luther had a tense exchange, which was caught on video.
“You want me to go all in on this race?” Fallon questioned Luther. “I have been 5 percent in on this race. You want me to go all in on it, I’m welcome to.”
“This has become a straight-up fight between Abbott and the ‘Kumbaya’ Professional Political Class vs. the grassroots and people who remember what limited government and principles should look like,” opined conservative activist Mike Openshaw.
“Respectfully, being willing to be jailed for fighting over-reaching government shows principle; that counts for something, Patrick,” Openshaw continued.
Luther has recently received endorsements from conservative Collin County Judge Chris Hill and Young Conservatives of Texas. Springer, on the other hand, received an endorsement from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, which asserted that Luther was going down a “far right” path.
A Republican is expected to carry the senate district, which may still require a runoff if the leading candidate does not get enough votes during the first round of the special election.
Election Day will be on September 29.
Luther is viewed as the truly conservative option and many believe she could help break the political status quo in Austin that has kept conservative legislation from ever being passed.
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