Trump Order Makes SB 124, State Refugee Ban, Superfluous and Counterproductive

Novstrup billboard, 4th and Dakota, Aberdeen, SD.
Reasonable and respectful? Not toward refugees….

Apparently failing to recognize they have the White House on their side, Senator Al Novstrup and other Trumpist legislators have filed Senate Bill 124, an effort to ban refugees from South Dakota.

SDCL 28-1-47 designated the Department of Social Services as the state agency that handles South Dakota’s participation in the federal Refugee Act of 1980. SB 124 strikes that statute and replaces it with this declaration:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no new refugee resettlement agreements may be entered into or renewed with agencies of the federal government without prior approval by the Legislature [2017 SB 124, introduced 2017.01.26].

As was the case in 2015 when Syrian refugees became the convenient scapegoat for Republicans who lack faith in Americalegislatures can’t ban individuals authorized to enter the United States from entering their states.

But wait: On Friday, Trump announced that he is blocking anyone from coming to America from Syria and six other Muslim countries that he considers hotbeds of “radical Islamic” extremism (“radical” meaning “not doing business with Trump Incorporated“). Trump is barring all refugees for four months and Syrian refugees indefinitely. When he cracks the door for refugees again, Trump is promising a Christians-first admissions policy.

Christian leaders across the country are criticizing Trump’s policy, but as Al and his legislative pals make the church rounds this morning, shouldn’t they be celebrating total victory on immigration? Doesn’t Trump’s order render their SB 124 not only unnecessary, but counterproductive? Suppose they pass SB 124 and it can withstand judicial review. At the end of May, when Trump reopens the borders to preferred Christian refugees, the South Dakota Legislature will be two months past adjournment. Unless they call a special session, the Legislature won’t be able to authorize the admission of any of those preferred Christian refugees to South Dakota.

When Senate State Affairs takes up SB 124 (no date set yet), let’s hope that Al and his pals can recognize that, in Trump’s America, we don’t need state laws to peddle paranoia, ignorance, and bigotry. The White House has that covered.

Related Reading:

  1. Al Novstrup signed onto two attempted refugee bans in the 2016 Legislature, 2016 HB 1158 and 2016 SB 119. Rep. Scott Craig had the Christian decency to withdraw the former before hearing. The latter died the next day in committee, but with Al’s son David voting to defend his dad’s fear and trembling.
  2. Jesuit priest and America editor James Martin cites Pope Francis, St. John Paul II, Exodus, and Jesus to point out the inconsistency or the Trump immigration order and Christian ethics. In October 2016, Pope Francis offered this guidance for Trump and Novstrup:

Answering questions from young people in the group this morning, the pope said, “the sickness or, you can say the sin, that Jesus condemns most is hypocrisy,” which is precisely what is happening when someone claims to be a Christian but does not live according to the teaching of Christ.

“You cannot be a Christian without living like a Christian,” he said. “You cannot be a Christian without practicing the Beatitudes. You cannot be a Christian without doing what Jesus teaches us in Matthew 25.” This is a reference to Christ’s injunction to help the needy by such works of mercy as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and welcoming the stranger.

“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help,” he said. “If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite” [“Pope Francis: You Can’t Defend Christianity by Being ‘Against Refugees and Other Religions’,” Catholic Herald UK, 2016.10.13].

23 Responses to Trump Order Makes SB 124, State Refugee Ban, Superfluous and Counterproductive

  1. In SD, it’s okay if children and babies are being slaughtered in Syria, cuz they’s not Christian anyways and we’s sure as hell don’t want them here. Besides, who would want a Muslim baby. We’s wants them white and Christian here, and so says our president.

  2. Nick Nemec

    Is it even possible to restrict the free movement of law abiding, legally admitted individuals? Wouldn’t such restrictions run afoul of the First Amendment protections of the right to peacefully assemble?

  3. Jenny, except a Syrian christian family is caught-up under the executive order immigrant ban. So Bannon does not care about christians. He seeks a form of ethnic purity.

    “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.” Leviticus 19: 33-34.

    ‘to awaken you from your slumber’ you faux SD christians . . .

    The article could easily add the German-immigrant hysteria during 1910s through the 1940s, and other examples.

  4. And these are the strong pro-lifers. But they don’t care what happens half a world away.

  5. Darin Larson

    I’ll post this again from Matthew 25:45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'”

    One of the least of these that we have failed:

  6. bearcreekbat

    At least the scrap metal dealers here in the USA will benefit when Trump sells them the statute of liberty.

  7. mike from iowa

    March 2016 scrap copper was $2.26/pound.

  8. Porter Lansing

    Pity The Hateful ~ They’re Hating Themselves

  9. Vance Feyereisen

    Paraphrasing Soren Kierkegaard

    Repubs use freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought that they seldom use.

  10. I am surprised liberals would oppose this Trump’s ban. Muslims kill gays, oppose alcohol, women are considered porperty and do as they are told in the Muslim world and they also oppose abortion, These are thing most Americans do not believe are right. Just think went they all move to. South Dakota and gain seats in the state legislature we wil see our rights disappear

    This ban wil save lives

  11. No, Sam, empirical data says that this ban over the last 15 years would have saved zero American lives. Weakening America’s global reputation will cost American lives for decades to come.

    And if there is a culture war for us liberals to wage with Muslims (first we need to win the culture war with the Taliban in Pierre, but we’re working on that) to get them to treat women and our LGBT friends equitably, we stand a better chance of persuading them to come our way by maintaining an open, pluralistic society where they can see and enjoy the fruits of our liberalism and thus be enticed away from their theocratic autocracy. Trump’s bigoted impulses, now written in immigration policy, only say to Muslims, “See? America’s no better than anyone else. We might as will cling to our traditions, because America offers us nothing better, only hatred, dsicrimination, and incompetence.”

    If we turn our back on the world, the world will turn its back on us.

  12. SB 124 won’t save any lives, either.

  13. mike from iowa

    Terrorists could just become wingnuts and hate women and LGBT like they already do.

  14. What is the difference between ISIS and Sam@?….The spelling…

  15. happy camper

    But we will not forget the elite on the left who are responsible for giving us Trump. The finger pointers are to blame who don’t understand the people in their own communities, but of course they just keep doing it.

    How the P.C. Police Propelled Donald Trump:

  16. If you are speaking of South Dakota, then you should know that there are no fingers here to point as there are damn few, if any elite on the left here in this state. Punkin head is the best thing that probably ever happened to this country, as it will tear us apart. We now know that there is little to nothing that really matters much anymore. We lost our freedom some years back when the Patriot Act came about. We lost it further when the bankers took us to the woodshed with the fake hope of a 401k and an honest shake for our efforts. Now we have the religious freak show that has descended upon the carcass like the vultures they are. They want to convince you that you are worth saving for something that they have in mind to enslave you further. So then happy camper, what is worth saving in this mess that really matters? Best to consider starting all over or keep up what has started in the airports and on the streets. Call it what you will, but it sure seems like some kind of Spring, can you smell it blossoming?

  17. Darin Larson

    happy, happy, happy– where to begin with your article which has some shades of truth, but is way over the top. I know this is your personal mantra, but you are letting the Trump voters off the hook. Blaming political correctness by the left for creating Trump is way over the top.

    I probably don’t have time for a point by point refutation of your article, but let’s cut to the chase of the conclusion of the article which you cited:

    “In the end, the significant cadre of kooks attached to Trump will likely scare the normals away from their flirtation with all this little-league brown-shirting. But the point remains that this is happening not because of an overly rightist GOP, but because American liberals, complacently turning away from the excesses of the left and eviscerating their own moderate wing, have damaged the two-party system to the point that an unhinged billionaire demagogue is raking in support from people who are now more afraid of leftists controlling the Justice Department than they are of Putin or ISIS.”

    Contrary to the articles assertion, Trump has hijacked the GOP and taken it in a far-right direction. Trump built a coalition of right wing hate groups, disaffected white working class voters, and establishment Republicans who went along for the Brown Shirt ride because they were promised control of the Supreme Court.

    The author wrote this article a year ago and didn’t really believe that Trump was going to take us down the road to fascism. He contended that Trump was basically a poser who was gaining support because of the reaction to the politically correct left. In essence, the author contends that the left was so radical that it drove people into Trump’s arms.

    Horse hockey. Many respected mainstream Republican politicians were so scared of Trump’s fascist talk that they reluctantly were even willing to support Hillary Clinton. But Trump was a master salesman to the masses and his sales pitch was classic fear mongering. He sold fear and stoked the fires of hate and division and won by the narrowest of margins.

    The grains of truth in the article concern the erosion of the center of the Democratic party, but that critique applies just as well to the Republican party.

    One could just as well argue that the extreme left was a reaction to the extreme right of the GOP. But the truth is that people have to be responsible for their own views. To argue that political correctness created Trump is to let people off the hook for their own ignorant, xenophobic, fear based views. Blaming political correctness for Trump’s political success is like blaming a battered spouse for inciting the violence that kills her. No Trump supporters, we didn’t make you do it.

  18. Roger Cornelius

    this is so simple it is amazing that you can’t see it.
    The elitist on the left did not ban 218,000 Muslims.
    Trump is your mess happy, you own him.

  19. mike from iowa

    Ever notice how Happy et al never mention the FBI and Russians helping Drumpf get elected?

    Happy, I didn’t listen to Drumpf’s followers then (no habla Russian) and I am not listening to them now. They ejaculate the same feces over and over and none of it has anything to do with reality. If anything they got totally suckered in to Drumpf’s constant stream of lies and I have nothing but contempt for them.

  20. Sam@’s words made me ROFL copter.

    While conservative push for a bigger and more overreaching government, they struggle their butts off to manufacture any amount of liberal hypocrisy with new speak on alternative facts.

    Sam@, yer head’s up yer ass.

  21. Is there a penalty clause that goes with this bill? Further explanation is needed. If refugees from Muslim dominated countries are actually directed here by the Federal Government, just how does Novstrup and his followers propose to “unsettle” them somewhere else without violating their civil rights? The problem I’ve always had with state legislatures is their propensity for fixing something that ends up unenforceable and more broken than it was before their mindless meddling? Is there a one of them that understands the principle of unintended consequences? What needs to happen here is some visa carrying college kids trying to get back to any one of our institutions and have state authorities try to evict them. Novstrup, all his followers, the Governor and the state should be sued for several million. That is the only thing that is going to teach these people that in spite of their ideology, we remain a nation of law and precedent. If the ferris wheel that Novstrup rides on suddenly has to produce a ton of money to satisfy a federal judgement, maybe he’ll change his tune and suddenly learn something………. if that is at all possible.

  22. John, there is no penalty in this bill. With respect to DSS, no penalty is needed: if the Legislature doesn’t give them permission to act, they can’t act (and I suspect the chance of anyone in state government going Sally Yates-Plus and enacting a program that the Legislature hasn’t authorized is zero).

  23. That makes my point. And perhaps reflects one of the deep seated problems we have with citizen legislators with no legal background, no interest in law or jurisprudence other than what they concoct themselves, and no willingness to listen to anyone that has some relative sense. Another question to ask is; “just where is the expertise of the LRC in crap like this? We’re really in trouble if they don’t provide any better guidance than to allow stuff like this to get into Committee with no fundamental sections of law and procedure attached. I heard Mickelson bloviating about Weilands absence in hearings to testify against IM22 and then proceeded to credit the LRC with jurisprudential wisdom which allowed them to determine it was unconstitutional before the Supreme Court had even heard oral arguments. Absent a solid candidate of another party, I’m voting Jackley……….. and if he’s elected, I hope he puts Mickelson and people like him in their place- just like Janklow use to do.