Legislative Wins2019-03-29T21:19:43+00:00

2019 Legislative Session







  • This bill would prohibit any governmental entity from enacting a rule, law, or ordinance that would prevent them from complying with any federal agency in terms of immigration. The majority of SDVFJ resources and time was spent toward the defeat of this bill. A coalition was built with schools, law enforcement, municipal governments, and the human trafficking network.
  • SDVFJ primarily opposed this bill based on the fear it could cause within the communities, concerns with inconsistencies with Federal privacy laws, and the unnecessary nature of the bill because SD law enforcement complies with Federal Immigration 100% of the time.
  • HB 1172 went through an exhausting process, receiving multiple defeats.
    • Deferred to the 41stDay by House Local Government 7-6; Smoked out of committee to House floor with 28 members standing to support; Motion to Calendar passed 44-25; Amended on the House Floor; Do Pass Motion on Floor failed 35-4; Vote to reconsider Passed 36-33, Do Pass Motion Passed 36-33. Moved to Senate Local Government where it was finally defeated and moved to the 41stDay on a 4-3 vote.
  • Anticipate this bill to come back in the next legislative session. This is an issue that legislators need to continue to be educated about in the interim.
  • This bill could direct the Department of Public Safety to offer driver’s license exams in Spanish along with English. This bill was primarily driven by the SF Chambers of Commerce, State Chamber, and large employers in the Sioux Falls area.
  • SDVFJ support was on the basis of moving towards more inclusive driver’s licensing in the state. Individuals do not always have access to or can afford an interpreter, especially outside of Sioux Falls. This is also a way to ensure driver’s are being licensed and able to get safely to work, school, etc.
  • SB 117 passed out of Senate State Transportation 5-1 and Passed Senate Floor 19-15. Defeated in House State Affairs deferred to 41stday 8-5
  • These three bills all concerned missing and murdered indigenous individuals. SB 164 and 1237 included collecting data on these individuals which is not currently being done at a state level, only at a tribal level. 164 and 1238 included directives to increase training about missing and murdered indigenous people for law enforcement.
  • SDVFJ support was based on bringing justice to disenfranchised minority populations across our state.
  • Ultimately these three bills were combined into one, SB 164, which moved through the process unopposed and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Petitioning Congress and the President to defend Israel against hostile actions; expressing the strongest support for, and unity with, the people and State of Israel; and strongly condemning the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and increasing incidents of anti-Semitism against Israel and the Jewish People.

  • Passed House 56-11, Passed Senate 22-10

Commending and thanking the men and women of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), urging Congress and the President to fund construction of steel barriers and border control impediments along with the strengthening of current border control infrastructure, and urging Congress and the President to ensure compliance with and enforcement of federal immigration laws.

  • Passed Senate 28-5, Passed House 55-13

2018 Legislative Session







The Board of Regents shall develop and institute a process by which each public postsecondary educational institution in the state shall verify with the federal government pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c) an alien’s lawful presence in the United States for purposes of this section.

FALSE Info Debunked:

The BOR has not authority to check the legal status of any student.  They only check of students are residents of SD to receive in-state tuition. Undocumented students do not have access to federal loans as an operation of federal law.

No local governmental unit as defined in § 6-1-12 nor any public postsecondary educational institution may enact, maintain, or enforce any ordinance, resolution, or other enactment that:

(1)    Limits or prohibits any agent of the local governmental unit or public postsecondary educational institution from communicating or cooperating with a federal agency or official to verify or report the immigration status of any person; or

(2)    Grants to any person the right to lawful presence or status within the area governed by the local governmental unit or public postsecondary educational institution in violation of state or federal law.

FALSE Information Debunked

This bill essentially prohibited any local governmental unit or higher educational campus from declaring “sanctuary” and therefore protected undocumented people.  This bill forced local governmental units to comply with federal agencies requesting information on any individuals which is unconstitutional. This bill also gave any citizen the right to file a complaint and receive monetary damages if this bill was not complied with!

The state shall suspend all direct or indirect resettlement of refugees and refuse to accept chain migration into South Dakota from citizens of countries appearing on any federal travel ban list. The state and any contracted voluntary agency may not assist in the transfer or direct resettlement of refugees or assist in the chain migration of refugees or immigrants from Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Iran, Libya, Yemen, and North Korea, without the consent of the Legislature.

FALSE Information Debunked

Once anyone enters the border of the US, they have a fundamental right to travel freely. A state cannot control who is entering.

WHEREAS, the enemy terrorist organizations are fighting in the name of Islam, and they believe in the full implementation of Islamic law, known as Sharia law; and

WHEREAS, the global war on terror is fought in primarily Muslim majority countries against Islamic fundamentalist terror organizations who subscribe to the full implementation of

Islamic law, known as Sharia law; and

WHEREAS, these Islamic terrorist organizations are known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, (ISIS), Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, al-Shabaab, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, the Muslim Brotherhood, and by other names, and they have stated intentions of infiltrating the entire world with their ideology; and

WHEREAS, many Muslim majority countries believe in the full implementation of Islamic law that subscribes to the belief that one should be killed for leaving Islam;

FALSE Information Debunked

This resolution uses fear-mongering language such as “Sharia law” as something negative and antithetical to American beliefs and values. The prime sponsor of this resolution equates a belief in Sharia law with killing apostates, which is false.  Sharia is guiding principles found in the religion of Islam.  There have been 14 apostate killings in the last 20 years.

WHEREAS, terrorist organizations are growing and becoming more dangerous every year with multiple acts of terrorism; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has declared that it is impossible to screen refugees from Syria and other Mideast countries; and

WHEREAS, President Obama vowed to bring in at least 10,000 Syrian refugees, while others on the left vowed to bring in at least 500% more; and

WHEREAS, many states and governors have implemented policies restricting immigrants that have not been thoroughly vetted; and

WHEREAS, sanctuary cities have violated federal law allowing convicted felons to have a safe harbor, threatening the lives of all American citizens; and

WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has historically not fully enforced federal laws regarding immigration; and

WHEREAS, extremist Islamic terrorism has become a major threat to America’s national security:

FALSE Information Debunked

-refugees are the MOST VETTED people entering the United States

-state authorities have no legal authority to enforce immigration laws

-the largest threat to America’s security is white males with gun who have perpetrated more mass killings than any other group on US soil

2017 Legislative Session







The effect of this amended bill which passed is to have Lutheran Social Services, the state’s only refugee resettlement agency provide statiscs on refugees resettled in SD to the governor’s office.

To urge and request law enforcement and governmental agencies in South Dakota to avoid and suspend all contacts and outreach activities with the Council on American Islamic Relations.

WHEREAS, CAIR is heavily involved in the Syrian refugee resettlement efforts; and

WHEREAS, the federal government and private social organizations are resettling thousands of Syrian refugees throughout South Dakota; and

WHEREAS, recent Islamic terrorist acts across the world are a constant reminder that Islamic terrorist organizations continue to actively target innocent citizens of our country:

FALSE Information debunked:

-CAIR does not have a chapter/office in South Dakota

-CAIR is not a refugee resettlement agency

-CAIR does not resettle Syrian refugees anywhere

-There are 4 Syrian refugees in all of SD

-since 9/11 there has been no “Islamic terrorist organizational” attack on US soil.

WHEREAS, the societal impact of accepting refugees from countries where ninety-eight percent of females undergo forced female genital mutilation, where practices of honor killings and dancing chai boys exist, and where other cultural practices antithetical to freedom and liberty are exercised is unknown; and

WHEREAS, refugees and their children have been involved in terrorist attacks domestically and have joined ISIS and other known terrorist organizations around the world; and

WHEREAS, refugees are being accepted from countries that impose the death penalty for laws of apostasy and laws of blasphemy, and these laws and beliefs are not compatible with the United States Constitution, the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, and a pluralist, open, peaceful society:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the Senate of the Ninety-Second Legislature

of the State of South Dakota, the House of Representatives concurring therein, that the South Dakota Legislature, having legitimate concerns about the refugee resettlement program and the vetting process, and having further concerns about the ability of the vetting process to protect the safety of American citizens and the United States Constitution, offer a vote of no confidence in the refugee resettlement program, and the administration thereof.

FALSE information debunked:

This resolution creates a sentiment that refugees from countries who have archaic and barbaric cultural practices will carry on those practices once resettled to the US.  It also causes fear in these barbaric practices, which are the majority of the reasons refugees are fleeing the countries themselves!


To empower South Dakotans with accurate information about Islam, Muslims, immigrants and refugee to fight Islamophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry in order to nurture informed, inclusive and civically engaged communities while supporting legislation and candidates within this mission.