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South Dakota not accepting Afghan refugees in the state

Afghan refugees line up for food in a dining hall at Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Village, in New...
Afghan refugees line up for food in a dining hall at Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Village, in New Mexico, where they are being housed, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. The Biden administration provided the first public look inside the U.S. military base where Afghans airlifted out of Afghanistan are screened, amid questions about how the government is caring for the refugees and vetting them. (AP Photo/David Goldman)(David Goldman | AP)
Published: Sep. 17, 2021 at 4:21 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - South Dakota is one of four states, along with the District of Columbia, that won’t be resettling any of the nearly 37,000 Afghan evacuees who made it to the U.S. during the final days of its chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan last month.

Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, which is the state’s refugee resettlement agency, decided not to accept any Afghans after weighing local conditions and its ability to resettle them.

The group’s chief operating officer, Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen, says that many of those arriving from Afghanistan are currently not eligible to work or receive federal aid to help them resettle.

The state of Minnesota is expected to accept 275 refugees and North Dakota is expected to welcome 49.

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