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South Dakota Short on Syrians; Refugees Face Longer Screening Than EB-5 Investors

KSOO news director Beth Warden talks to Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, VP of Community Services for Lutheran Social Services, and learns that South Dakota is unlikely to see many if any Syrian refugees, since we don’t already have a large Syrian community where refugees would find family ties to help them through their relocation:

But should LSS and South Dakota have the pleasure of resettling fellow beings seeking peace and safety, we can rest assured that those refugees will undergo a lengthy screening process. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants breaks it down in 13 steps; the Center for American Progress breaks it down to 21 steps. Whatever way you count the steps, refugees generally slog through the process for 18 to 24 months.

As of September 30, wealthy EB-5 visa investors waited 14.4 months to get into the U.S. but faced less rigorous scrutiny of the sources of the funds they use to buy their way to the front of the immigration queue.

EB-5 investors also don’t spend time waiting in refugee camps for the United Nations to start their resettlement process. Some refugees from other nations have languished in camps for twenty years.

Hmm… two years to be processed, possibly more stuck in camps… enough time for those murderous widows and orphans of whom John Thune is scared to get new spouses and parents… or to be radicalized by their frustration and turn on nations fail to show practical compassion.

Bonus Geography: Ben Carson can’t count refugees or governors. The GOP Presidential candidate yesterday included South Dakota in a map showing states that have rejected Syrian refugees. Carson is wrong again: Governor Dennis Daugaard’s official position remains no position. That’s thin gruel, but the ACLU still applauds the Governor for not joining Carson and other mostly Republicans in unconstitutional fear-mongeringUpdate 10:41 CST: The Governor has issued a press release calling on the feds to “re-examine our process for background checks of refugee applicants seeking asylum and to reconsider whether the United States should continue to accept refugees at current levels.” Governor Daugaard must have decided he wasn’t monging enough fear to maintain his GOP discount card.

Bonus Threat Assessment: High school football has killed eleven American boys this year. No Republican legislators have called for banning high school football.


  1. mike from iowa 2015-11-19 08:00

    More and more wingnuts appear to be petulant,spoiled children who need to be taken behind the woodshed to improve their manners. I doubt wingnut guvs give a rat’s ass about terrorists or refugees,they just like telling Obama no and making his job as hard as they can.

  2. mike from iowa 2015-11-19 11:52

    Quite the read,Lanny.

  3. Monty 2015-11-19 12:50

    A visit to the Holocaust Museum would be time well spent by our Congressional delegation.

    No One Wanted Us – The Tragic Voyage of the SS St. Louis

  4. Porter Lansing 2015-11-19 14:53

    One political party is trampling over itself to be first in line on the wrong side of history…again and again.

  5. Joe K 2015-11-19 14:59

    What are they worried about? Do they think the refugees will come over here and easily obtain guns? Ooooooh, the irony.

  6. mikeyc, that's me! 2015-11-19 16:19

    Heck, I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for immigration in 1777.

  7. Eve Fisher 2015-11-19 16:57

    I understand that Donald Trump wants all Muslims to carry “a special form of identification”. If he goes with a yellow star, I say we all line up and get one. Slow the road to concentration camps down a bit.

  8. Don Coyote 2015-11-19 20:13

    @monty: Unfortunately time and the retelling of the voyage of the MS St Louis has made the story into a historical hash. Here’s the real history of the MS St Louis from the History News Network at George Mason University:

    “The negotiations succeeded. Advocates for refugees, assisted by the Intergovernmental Committee on Refugees, a Roosevelt initiative, and the State Department found places for all the St. Louis passengers in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Britain. These were safe havens in the summer of 1939, a time when the war and the Holocaust had not begun. Not a single passenger went back to Germany.

    Tragically, the ill fortune of war and the Holocaust later threatened those passengers placed on the continent and caught up about one-third of them. But only those who could magically see into the future could have forecast this in the prewar summer or 1939. “Our gratitude is as immense as the ocean on which we are now floating,” the passengers cabled at the time to a Jewish aid official.”

  9. Don Coyote 2015-11-19 20:37

    @Porter Lansing: History doesn’t have sides. Only historians do.

  10. larry kurtz 2015-11-19 20:38

    One person’s holocaust is another’s South Dakota.

  11. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-20 06:19

    Saying history doesn’t have sides and dismissing moral judgments as relativism sounds like the last resort of a partisan who knows his party should not win the argument.

  12. bearcreekbat 2015-11-20 11:21

    Eve, I think your idea makes perfect sense. I would be willing to convert to Islam and wear a yellow star if this might help slow down the Republican’s Nazi-like ideas of labeling large groups of people and treating them more harshly than the rest of the population.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-20 12:01

    I wouldn’t convert. I would wear the star.

  14. mike from iowa 2015-11-20 12:37

    We should all get hairpieces made from endangered brown Spider Monkey fur from Colombia-just like Trump. Maybe they are infused with Medellin Cartel cocaine.

  15. Bill Fleming 2015-11-20 12:47

    When Gandhi was asked if he was a Hindu, he replied, “Yes I am, I am also a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, and a Jew.” Amen.

  16. larry kurtz 2015-11-20 13:09

    i am spartacus.

  17. Les 2015-11-20 13:09

    As refugee Einstein also stated, either nothing is a miracle or everything is.

  18. Bill Fleming 2015-11-20 13:26

    Les, it’s the latter. :-)

  19. Porter Lansing 2015-11-20 13:41

    Of course History has sides. History is the recalling of events in an accurate manor. If you took the opposite side than what was proven correct by time, then you were on the “wrong side of History”. e.g. Refusing to install an early voting center closer to the voters. History will show that was a wrong decision. The decision was changed and those who believed it was proper to disenfranchise voters were on the “wrong side of History”.

  20. Bill Fleming 2015-11-20 14:17

    Coyote, in the light of what happened to humanity when the Nazi party decided that all Jews should have to wear a badge, or when FDR decided to put all Japanese Americans in camps during WWII, the idea that all Muslims (or Syrian Muslim refugees, or whatever) should be singled out and discriminated against in a similar way can be characterized as being “on the wrong side of History” because, as per Martin Luther King Jr. “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice.”

    Granted, history may ultimately prove that MLK may have been wrong about that, but for all our sakes, I hope hope he wasn’t. I suppose it comes down to whether or not any of us really has any role to play in the shaping of future historic narratives. Suffice it to say that if one believes in free will, one also believes one’s thoughts and actions can help write history.

    What’s your chapter going to say, Coyote?

  21. jerry 2015-11-20 14:57

    Get ready for right wing heads to blow, Pope Francis is calling Christmas a “charade” in light of how his supposed Christian flock is behaving. Catholics along with the rest of so called Christian crew are proving beyond a doubt, that Christianity has ended.

    The good news is that we can now all save our knees at Midnight Mass and just go to the pub for some eggnog.

  22. Monty 2015-11-20 16:09

    @Coyote – you lost me at the “magically see in to the future”. Kristallnacht occurred in November of 1938, the St. Louis sailed the following May. President Roosevelt must have understood that refusing entry to the Jews fleeing the Third Reich in to the United States reinforced the Nazi message that Jews were a stateless unwanted people that should and could be eradicated.

    To my ears, the message sent by Daugaard, Thune, Rounds, and Noem to the Syrian refugees is also that you are stateless and unwanted, go back to Assad and ISIS to be exploited and killed. Anyone can watch television and see in to that future.

  23. Porter Lansing 2015-11-20 17:22

    When you hold one person fully accountable for their own destructive actions – it is justice; but when you punish an entire nationality, race or religion for the actions of a few – it is oppression. Stereotypes and “collective punishment” injures the innocent, creates new enemies, makes us less secure, and undermines the humanity of us all. We have to be better than that. – Sen. Morgan Carroll

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-11-21 10:59

    Les, it’s the former.

Comments are closed.