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Noem: Protect Every Child’s Life… But Not Those Darn Foreign Kids

Full-time campaigner and part-time Governor Kristi Noem’s Twitter feed is a compendium of contradictions. Yesterday, the self-conceived next President of the United States declared that “Every child has a right to life” and celebrated her own legislative posturing to “protect life and to move the pro-life movement forward in court.” Today she shared another photo of her irresponsibly maskless cabinet meeting amidst a still unchecked pandemic and bragged, “In South Dakota, we roll out the red carpet for those who love freedom….”

There are thousands of children at the United States border whose parents find their children’s lives and freedom in such grave peril back home that they consider sending their beloved children north to the United States alone their best bet for preserving their lives and growing up in freedom. To those children in need, Kristi Noem says, Drop dead, you little terrorists:

Gov. Kristi Noem, morning tweet, 2021.04.14
Gov. Kristi Noem, morning tweet, 2021.04.14
Gov. Kristi Noem, afternoon tweet, 2021.04.14
Gov. Kristi Noem, afternoon tweet, 2021.04.14

Data on the number of “terrorists” intercepted at any United States port of entry is incomplete and unreliable. However, most of the terrorists posing the greatest threat to American national security, like the hundreds of terrorists arrested for mounting insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6 and the hundreds more still on the lam, have been here all their lives.

And we’re not talking about terrorists. We’re talking about children, who Noem says have an absolute right to life, who now are in dire need of protection, whom South Dakota and the whole darn country are rich enough to protect, as we have done before, and as federal law and Christian ethics and common decency compel us to do.

South Dakota Voices for Peace calls Noem’s bleat “un-American, racist, and heartless.” Here’s their full, factual, and passionate response calling us to be better than the cold example set by our Governor:

In her tweet vilifying immigrants on Wednesday morning, Governor Kristi Noem failed to mention that the federal government requested that states provide shelter to unaccompanied immigrant children who are coming to our borders to seek refuge from violence such as rape, extortion, and abuse, as permitted by U.S. and international law.

SD Voices for Peace (SDVFP) is the only nonprofit in South Dakota which provides free legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children—children who did not travel to the border with a parent or guardian. Since 2014, over 500 unaccompanied immigrant children have been released to sponsors living in South Dakota, through a process overseen by the Office of Refugee Resettlement through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

One of our recent clients explained that when he was five years old, his abusive stepfather’s relative kidnapped him from school to use as a bargaining tool to silence his mother. He remembers his stepfather’s violence, and how he (the client) was scared to go to school, sleep alone, or even play outside. When he was seven, his mother packed his bags and sent him on a treacherous journey to the US to live in safety with his uncle. He has been living in South Dakota for several years now. He loves going to school, making friends, and playing outside. He has applied for asylum and has been waiting for 4 years for a response.

Governor Noem has no authority over federal immigration policies. Each child deemed an “unaccompanied minor” by the Department of Homeland Security has the legal right to go through the immigration process in hopes to obtain U.S. Citizenship. The process to obtain paperwork can take up to 10 years, and it is a lawful process. Seeking asylum is a human right.

In South Dakota, immigrants hold many different statuses; there are visa holders, lawful permanent residents, international students, visitors, U.S. citizens, agricultural workers, doctors and scientists, and those with no documented status. Immigrants in SD are our essential workers. During the COVID-19 pandemic they are the workers who fueled our agricultural economy and took care of our dying community members.

“South Dakota Governor’s tweet is un-American, racist and heartless. Her pattern of racism and bigotry towards immigrant communities is abhorrent,” said SDVFP Executive Director Taneeza Islam. “The wave of unaccompanied children at the southern border is not new, and has been happening for decades. She is pandering to her base to get some likes on Twitter, on the backs of innocent and extremely vulnerable children. The Biden Administration is asking for assistance from all states’ Departments of Health and Human Services so that these children do not have to stay in unsafe conditions at our southern border. Why can’t the governor choose life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for these children?” [South Dakotans for Peace, statement, 2021.04.14]

Choose life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all children—that’s what a reading of Noem’s happy tweets (not to mention the Constitution, the Bible, and the stories those children and their families can tell) would suggest is America’s moral mandate. But turn Kristi’s attention to not-yet-American kids and her rabid base that loves to hate, and the national campaigner turns positively un-American.

(But you know, those children are trying to escape fear, hatred, and tyranny. Maybe they are better off not being sent to places like South Dakota that are led by a fearful, hateful tyrant.)


  1. Nick Nemec 2021-04-14 19:25

    Kristi is too dumb to understand that no US state has the authority to restrict certain people from living in that state. It iis called freedom of assembly and freedom of association, it is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. Elected officials actually swear an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Some listen to the words as they repeat the oath, others simply mouth them.

    Most kids learn this stuff in junior high civics class.

  2. El Rayo X 2021-04-14 19:32

    If you’re implying Gov. Noem is bullying Central (not real) American children, then she would have written “Dakota del Sur no aceptará a ningún inmigrante ilegal que la Administración Biden quiera reubicar. Mi mensaje para los inmigrantes ilegales … Llámame cuando seas una Americana.” I;m not sure why she didn’t leave her phone number though. Every naturalized American citizen should call Kristi and see why she wants them to call. Tell her Rayo says hey.

  3. T 2021-04-14 19:33

    Who is going to clean toilets and hotel rooms in SD then if we are not to welcome immigrants. No locals will do these jobs. No locals will work other jobs in our area either.

  4. I’m No Dr. Seuss 2021-04-14 19:46

    She could have simply said “no” and not tweet about it.

  5. o 2021-04-14 19:51

    T, I presume the answer is that we welcome the exploitation of immigrants through legal guest worker programs, but we are not at all interested in that equation unless it promotes the business interests of SD exclusively.

    I also notice there has been no mention from the Governor about the exploitation and trafficking of these immigrants — issues once dear to her heart (campaigning). She cannot in any way humanize these people; she can only dehumanizes them as “others”

    Again, the focus on “legal” equating to moral when it suits the needs of the Right, but legal means nothing when that stands in the way of any law that limits their authority to force compliance to their narrow, excluding ideology.

    And that is today’s Civics lesson: American’s lives are worth more than other nation’s citizen’s lives.

    And that is today’s theology lesson: The prosperity gospel tells us that God must hate these people; after all, he made them poor.

  6. RST Tribal Member 2021-04-14 20:40

    Goodness one wonders what our America’s Governor Noem was smoking in TX and FL last weekend that prompted her to ask illegal immigrants to call when they are legal… just like the reality show 90 Day Fiancé, almost like she is offering immigrants a K-1 visa to come to our state.

    Or, our America’s Governor is trying out the GOP leader’s trying to be America’s Director claptrap. The clown car is filling up.

    Some days I wonder why my relatives in the yesteryears took pity on those clueless and deranged immigrants who washed up on the eastern shores of our great nations before it was turned into what it is today. It almost like asking them to go back to where they came from… some days.

  7. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2021-04-14 21:02

    Washed up Governor-ex is a racist.

    Bigot. Federal immigration law allows refugees to settle in South Dakota.

    Bigotry is illegal in South Dakota.

    Let’s create Spanish and Lakota and Afro American and Asian language libraries all over South Dakota!!

    Bigot Trump lost in 2020. She will lose in 2022.

  8. Donald Pay 2021-04-14 21:03

    My Grandma Annie’s family came over from Germany when that country was being militarized prior to World War I. They were simple, peaceful farmers who found some farmland in northwest Iowa and settled into the American dream. During World War I they faced the same sorts of hateful remarks that Noem hurls at immigrants today. I realize that Noem isn’t a normal human being because I don’t think a normal human could those insults at my Grandma Annie, who I imagine even as a child had that infectious laugh that I knew much later as I sat on her lap and felt her belly shake with mirth. I’m sure there are many little girls on the southern border who are just like my Grandma Annie when she came over. I try to imagine someone trying to bully and hurt my Grandma Annie in the way Noem does with her hateful words. It sickens me. I hope she rots in hell.

  9. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2021-04-14 21:23

    Central American and other country refugees will be the business owners, scientists, mathematicians, software developers, Doctors, farmers, farm workers, teachers….

    Bigot Noem cannot override Federal immigration law. She could have stayed in Congress and with Marion Rounds and Retiring Thunio could have tried to stop immigration.

    She can’t stop the positive developing arc of American History. Biden is in charge.

    Why doesn’t the Democratic Party have a Spanish
    Language page?

  10. DaveFN 2021-04-14 21:41

    As far as we can tell, Noem would also appear to champion chromosomal abnormalities of any kind in the name of pro-birth as a “gift from God,” however deleterious those abnormalities may be to the quality of life for those encumbered by them. I

  11. jerry 2021-04-14 21:48

    NOem resides and governs on stolen land. NOem should consider going across the great waters to her homeland, probably a $#:+hole country and then call us when she is settled back in.

  12. grudznick 2021-04-14 22:51

    The bossturds!

  13. M 2021-04-15 05:11

    What is so disgusting is that this thing we call a governor is the “voice” of South Dakota. We need a counter to her. Someone needs to publicly call her out for what she is and is not.

    She is a total embarrassment to humanity because like her mentor, she has no soul.

    We need to get her out of office ASAP.

  14. Nix 2021-04-15 07:16

    But wait !…..
    Those damn dirty little Mexicans don’t have any money.
    They’re not American like the white Arnold family.
    The Koreans….now those people have money.
    Who do you think put up the EB5 cash
    for the failed Northern Beef plant in Aberdeen?
    Ask Mike Rounds, Joop Bolin or Richard
    B…., Oh wait. He’s dead.
    But boy oh boy, That Korean cash was
    good while it lasted. They “ bought”
    their way in.

  15. John 2021-04-15 08:15

    If there any religious leaders in South Dakota – folks who walk the talk . . . they’d express outrage and encourage civil disobedience. The fact that the religious folks are silent leads to further agnostics and atheists.
    Faux chirstians like noem and her church people are the leading causes of atheism outgrowing christianity.

  16. Lottie 2021-04-15 10:02

    Every article i read about KN, i get irritated because she seems so territorial & bigoted. I mean whos a refugee here? Sometimes i wonder if shes actually a cartoon character. As a proud Native woman, i feel like she let SD down with lousy leadership.

  17. Jenny 2021-04-15 14:22

    When you’re pro-life doesn’t that mean everyone’s life is sacred? The Catholic church supports Biden’s stance on illegal immigration as it goes along with their Social Doctrine. Will Rounds play Hop Scotch on his Church’s stance on this? Also, the Catholic Church needs more kids to abuse and it’s so much easier to groom brown and black poor illegal children. (this is really the way pedohiles think)

  18. robin friday 2021-04-15 16:10

    I’ll say it again. They have to have a place to stay, to live, to work, to BE before they can apply for citizenship, no matter how they entered. Therefore, it’s nonsense to say “call me when you’re an American”, meaning a U.S. citizen, if that’s what she means. As happens, so often, her comments make zero sense.

  19. robin friday 2021-04-15 16:21

    i find I can’t help thinking over and over about the little boy, I think he was nine, walking down what looked like a paved road by himself, barely able to keep the sobs to himself when talking to the news reporter. I can’t help wondering what happened to him. (I have a ten-year-old grandson and I raised boys, so I’m a pushover.) It’s fantasy, but if he didn’t go to a good place with someone willing to extend love and comfort even to some kid they don’t know, then knowing it’s fantasy, I want him to come live with me until there’s a very good place for him.

  20. KD 2021-04-15 16:45

    I’m sure she will send out our “tots and pears” to all the children during her attendance at the mayor’s “pear” breakfast on Tuesday.

  21. chris 2021-04-15 16:52

    Kristi just does this every time she gets new cosmetic work done. This time is was her eyes. Next time is gonna be her nose. Who will she attack then?

  22. Scott 2021-04-15 18:44

    So did Noem get FOX TV time after her hateful statement?

    That is all she is really concerned about.

  23. Porter Lansing 2021-04-15 19:58

    All children deserve a safe and loving environment, nurturing leadership, and opportunity for a good education and future job.

    Colorado welcomes these kids. South Dakota doesn’t.

    There’s no need to criticize South Dakota.

    Enough said.

  24. jerry 2021-04-16 17:51

    These migrant children would be well appreciated in South Dakota’s tourism industry. A good Democrat could make that argument to business people on how Republicans continue to follow the road of dislike towards business people… unless they want their money for campaigns.

  25. CraigSk 2021-04-24 00:45

    They should have just tweeted it.

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