South Dakota is 1 of 4 states not resettling Afghan evacuees

South Dakota News

Two girls from Afghanistan wait with other evacuees to fly to the United States or an other save location in a makeshift gate inside a hanger at the United States Air Base in Ramstein, Germany, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. One of largest American military community overseas gets to a transport hub and houses thousands Afghan evacuees. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

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, said Thursday that many of those arriving from Afghanistan are currently not eligible to work or receive federal aid to help them resettle.

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