Governor Kristi Noem’s Weekly Column: The Freedom to Be Secure – and How to Keep it

The Freedom to Be Secure – and How to Keep it
By: Governor Kristi Noem
February 23, 2024

In my State of the State Address, I talked about the Freedom to be secure. We are so fortunate to live in a nation where we have many Freedoms, including the Freedom to feel secure in our own communities. Unfortunately, that security is now being threatened. And today, we are even more at risk of having our security ripped out from under us than ever before.

I’ve called the national security crisis happening at our Southern Border right now a warzone many times, and I will continue to do so. It is undeniably true. We have dangerous criminals and terrorists flowing into our country each and every day. Joe Biden and so-called “Border Czar” Kamala Harris continuously refuse to take action, forcing the states to take matters into their own hands.

What do you do when you have a warzone on your hands? You send soldiers.

Two years ago, I was the first governor in America to send my National Guard soldiers to the Southern Border. This week, I announced that we will be deploying troops from one of the top National Guards in the nation to secure our border for the fifth time. South Dakota’s finest will be in Texas helping to build the border wall and keep our country secure. I am proud of them for their dedication to this cause, and I am incredibly grateful to them for answering the call to serve their state and nation.

Just a few weeks ago, after I briefed a joint session of the South Dakota legislature on the dire situation at our Southern Border, they became the first legislature in America to pass a joint resolution expressing their support for securing the border.

The drugs coming into our country because of this open border are a risk to every single family in America. We are seeing the effects right here in South Dakota. Fentanyl is flowing into our country at a rapid pace – and when combined with the “zombie drug” xylazine, it makes an already deadly drug even deadlier. I was proud to sign a bill this legislative session to classify xylazine at a Schedule III controlled substance. This new law will keep South Dakotans safe, secure, and healthy.

We have surpassed ten million illegal immigrants living in the United States today. If we were to create a state of just those illegal immigrants, it would be the tenth largest state in America. And as we keep learning more about the people entering our country, it’s clear that our Freedom to be secure is at risk.

A large number of the people crossing our Southern Border are military-aged, Chinese men. This is no coincidence. The Chinese-owned app TikTok is promoting videos that point people to holes in the fencing along our border. The Chinese Communist Party is literally providing individuals with step-by-step instructional videos on how to enter the U.S. illegally.

China is our biggest external threat. I recognized that – it’s why I was the first to ban TikTok on state government devices in the state of South Dakota. Many other states followed our lead. Congress followed our lead. And, surprisingly enough, Joe Biden even followed our lead – TikTok is banned on devices in the White House right now.

In South Dakota, we are continuing to lead where the federal government is letting America down. My priority is, and always will be, the people of this great state.

South Dakotans will never have their Freedom to be secure taken away from them – not on my watch.


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