Mexican drug cartels are operating in South Dakota on American Indian reservations, stated Gov. Kristi Noem (R) in a recent NewsMax interview. Additionally, she noted that only the federal government has jurisdiction there, creating a situation similar to what Texas faces in its border security dilemma in the city of Eagle Pass.
Furthermore, Gov. Noem asserts that the Biden administration is purposefully doing nothing about the problem. She pointed out that “Even though South Dakota isn’t a neighboring state to Texas, we’re on the front lines of this thing.”
The warzone at the Southern Border affects us here at home in South Dakota because the cartels have a presence on our tribal reservations and are devastating our communities with drugs and human trafficking.
We don’t want America to look like Europe in just a year or two.
— Kristi Noem (@KristiNoem) January 27, 2024
An international drug-affiliated gang known as the “Ghost Dancers” is believed to be responsible for numerous murders in the Rapid City area as well as on the Pine Creek Reservation. The cartels are indeed actively recruiting tribe members into their criminal activities.
The South Dakota Ogalala Sioux Tribe has sued the Biden administration to make good on the federal government’s obligation to provide law enforcement resources to combat crime on the reservations. A federal judge sided with the Sioux and ordered the administration to provide support, but Biden has as of yet done nothing. Indeed, the United States is required by treaty to assist the reservations in this manner.
During the Trump administration, Governor Noem had worked closely with Attorney General Bill Barr to help with South Dakota’s tribal land crime crisis, but progress came to a halt as soon as Biden took office. Noem has stated in a recent speech to the South Dakota state legislature that she intends to “very publicly” support the Sioux’s lawsuit.
Cartels indeed operate on federal lands across the nation, out of reach of state authorities and virtually free of federal interference. The illegal marijuana trade has thrived in national forests for years, and the cartels also use seized federal land as bases of operations for kidnapping and human trafficking operations.
Gov. Noem recently visited the Texas border town of Eagle Pass as a show of support. She has provided National Guard troops and material aid for Texas three times in the past and is considering doing so again.
In her speech Gov. Noem summarized the situation: “The sheer number of illegal migrants coming into the country has made it so that every state is now a border state. This isn’t just an issue for Texas and other states along the border. This is an issue for every American. And this issue is about preserving this great nation for our kids and our grandkids.”