Staunch America First leader South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) brought to light a disturbing situation this week — Mexican drug cartels are allegedly establishing bases within her state’s tribal lands. This alarming news underscores a broader national issue, transcending beyond the immediate borders of South Dakota.
Gov. Noem, speaking Wednesday on Newsmax, highlighted the unique jurisdictional challenges that tribal lands pose. She stated, “I’ve got nine Native American tribes, and the cartels are set up on our tribal grounds because I don’t have jurisdiction there.” This situation creates a jurisdictional loophole, as these lands fall under federal oversight, which according to Noem, is inadequately addressed by the Biden administration.
The presence of cartels on tribal lands is not only a direct threat to the sovereignty and safety of these communities but also a strategic move by these criminal organizations to exploit jurisdictional complexities. Noem’s commentary draws attention to the broader implications of federal inaction, suggesting a ripple effect that touches every state in the nation.
— Mgtywzrd (@Mgtywzrd1) February 1, 2024
This situation is further complicated by the ongoing tensions at the U.S.-Mexico border. Gov. Noem’s recent tour of the southern border brought to light the challenges faced by Texas in its efforts to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking. She expressed solidarity with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), commending his use of physical barriers like razor wire, a measure that has led to a legal standoff with the federal government.
Along with 24 other Republican governors, Noem has openly criticized Joe Biden’s handling of the border crisis. Their collective voice represents a growing discontent with federal strategies, or lack thereof, in dealing with border security and its nationwide repercussions.
Critics of Gov. Noem have argued that her statements are politically motivated, aimed at rallying her base and criticizing the Biden administration. Yet, the severity and specificity of her claims, particularly regarding the exploitation of tribal lands by cartels, merit serious consideration and investigation.
Gov. Noem’s statements about cartel operations on tribal lands in South Dakota highlight a critical and often overlooked aspect of the national conversation on border security and federal jurisdiction.