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Tennessee Sues DC Over Refugee Resettlement

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Published on: March 21, 2017

Tennessee has had enough of the continued push that was begun by Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah to force refugees into their state.  Now, the state has filed a lawsuit against the central government which challenges the constitutional of its refugee resettlement program.

The Tennessean reports:

Tennessee became the first state in the nation on Monday [March 13] to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of several state lawmakers Monday morning in the western district of Tennessee, alleges that the federal government has violated the 10th Amendment, which says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.

The charge that the federal government is not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, based on the 10th Amendment, makes Tennessee’s lawsuit the first of its kind. Other states have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement but on different legal grounds.

“Plaintiffs will suffer significant and irreparable harm unless this Court intervenes,” the 15-page lawsuit states.  “Operation of the federal refugee resettlement program commandeers Tennessee’s funds through Medicaid with the threatened loss of nearly $7 billion, amounting to 20 percent of its overall state budget – money that is needed fund services that are critical to the health and welfare of countless Tennesseans.”

“The state funds commandeered to support the federal government’s refugee resettlement program deprive plaintiffs of scarce financial resources that are critical for protecting the welfare, health, and safety of all Tennesseans,” the suit reads.  “State money used for refugee services included education, funding for English language learners and other programs.”

The Thomas More Law Center brought the lawsuit.

The State Department, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement are all named in the suit as defendants.

“The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to force me as the elected representative of the 24th Senate District to implement federal programs while they sit in Washington insulated from the consequences,” said Tennessee state Senator John Stevens (R).

The Hill reports:

The federal government has appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee with administrating the state’s refugee resettlement initiative, it said.

Catholic Charities reportedly resettled just over 2,000 refugees there during the 2016 fiscal year after its start last October.

The Tennessean added the majority of those refugees are not from the six countries impacted by President Trump’s temporary travel ban.

ABC reminds us, “The lawsuit was the result of a resolution passed last year that demanded the state file a lawsuit over the refugee program. The resolution passed after fears of refugees in Tennessee came into focus following terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California.  Gov. Bill Haslam let the resolution become law without signing it. Haslam has expressed concerns about one branch of government demanding action from another. He also has said that he didn’t think that the people who are coming into the country to do harm are doing it under the refugee resettlement program.”

“The governor’s position on this has not changed since last year when he let the resolution that allows the General Assembly to file a lawsuit to take effect without his signature,” Jennifer Donnals, a spokeswoman for Haslam, said in an email.

President Trump’s travel ban imposes  90-day freeze on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen, as well as a 120-day ban on refugee resettlement.

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