Noem’s Trip to the Border a Distraction from Real South Dakota Problems


May 17, 2024

The South Dakota Democratic Party Executive Director Dan Ahlers issued the following statement after Gov. Kristi Noem once again delivered a fear mongering speech about the US/Mexico border instead of finding solutions for problems in South Dakota:

“Noem continues to claim that cartels are operating on reservations for drug and human trafficking. When questioned, she acknowledges drugs and human trafficking are happening throughout South Dakota and this country. So why is she only focusing on the tribes? South Dakota should be working with tribal leadership and providing more resources for drug prevention and rehabilitation programs as well as organizations that help victims of human trafficking.”

“The Governor also said tribal leaders need to ‘stop focusing on politics and banishing me and bring me solutions’. That is a two-way street. Noem has a long history of showing disrespect for Native Tribes in South Dakota. Her administration needs to put in the work to improve relationships with each of the Tribal Nations. Good leadership doesn’t hurl attacks; it finds on solutions.”

South Dakotan’s should be encouraged by the new basic law enforcement certification course for tribal police recruits this summer. This is a step in the right direction in the hope of more law enforcement officers on reservations to help with the public safety issues.

Noem also continues to allege that there is an ‘infiltration’ and ‘invasion’ at the southern border. “If she truly wanted to find a solution to the border crisis, she would have urged US Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds as well as US Representative Dusty Johnson to support the bipartisan immigration bill. While it was not perfect, it addressed concerns by both political parties. Instead, they all fell in line with former President Donald Trump and killed real, meaningful immigration reform.”

“The only purpose for this news conference is to distract from the bad press she’s receiving nationally due to stories of killing her dog and inaccuracies in her book like meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The focus should be on the real challenges of South Dakota families.”

Many families across the state can’t afford child care. Families sit on waiting lists because there are not enough daycare employees and providers. South Dakota is also dealing with a shortage of affordable and workforce housing. Meanwhile, the Governor recruits people from places like California who are driving up the cost of housing and our property taxes. And while Governor Noem is vilifying people who are crossing the southern border, South Dakota is actually in need of migrants to fix our labor shortage.

“Noem continues to show that she is more concerned about her national image than effectively governing South Dakota.”

For questions, you can contact the SDDP Executive Director Dan Ahlers at or contact the state party office by phone at 605-271-5405 or 605-940-3071.

Paid for by the South Dakota Democratic Party |