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South Dakota Senate panel rejects refugee resettlement bill

February 22, 2018

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state Senate panel has rejected a bill aiming to suspend refugee resettlement into South Dakota from countries on “any federal travel ban list.”

The Senate State Affairs Committee voted 8-1 Wednesday against the bill, which would have also directed the state to refuse “chain migration” from citizens of countries on such a list. That system gives advantages to the relatives of legal immigrants.

Matt Konenkamp, a policy adviser to Gov. Dennis Daugaard, asked the panel to oppose the bill, saying the state of South Dakota has no jurisdiction over refugees or immigration policy.

Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, which provides resettlement services for refugees, opposed the bill.

Republican Sen. Neal Tapio, the sponsor, has said the federal government doesn’t have the right to “make your neighborhood less safe.”

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