Refugees were a big topic of discussion during the 2016 presidential election. Democrats, like Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, wanted to invite every single refugee into the country. The problem was they didn’t think about the vetting process and how important it is for American safety.
These refugees need to be thoroughly vetted because of the areas that they are coming from. Several countries that these refugees are originally from are known terrorist hot spots. Terrorist groups, like ISIS, have already admitted that some of their agents are posing as refugees to get into the country to cause some major damage.
Unfortunately the Democrats just don’t understand the worry that Americans have over this and continue to support bringing refugees in through a federal program. Finally, one state has had enough of the federal refugee resettlement program. The state of Tennessee has officially filed a lawsuit against the federal government over the resettlement of refugees in the state.
The Thomas More Law Center filed the federal lawsuit for the Tennessee General Assembly, as well as the State of Tennessee. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Monday. As stated earlier, it’s challenging the federal refugee resettlement program. What Tennessee is arguing is that it violates the state’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution.
To escalate this even further, President Trump is expected to hold a rally in Nashville to create public support for his agenda. That includes his revised travel ban. It suspends the federal refugee resettlement program and stops travel from six Muslim-majority countries. It’s expected to go into effect on Thursday.
Back in April of 2016, the Tennessee General Assembly passed SJR 467. What it did was authorize the filing of the lawsuit. It was meant to address the federal government’s appropriation of state funds to continue this program in Tennessee. Suing the federal government is a big deal, and it only escalates when it is one of the states that are on the prosecuting side.
Originally in 2007, Tennessee withdrew from the federal program. However the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement went around this by designating Catholic Charities of Tennessee to force the continuation of state funds to resettle those refugees that go to the state.
It’s worth pointing out that the federal government isn’t allowed to force states to support federal programs with state revenues. In other words, the federal government can’t force the states to pay for something using their own money.
The late Senator Ted Kennedy addressed this. He was the chief sponsor of the Refugee Act of 1980, which was the enabling legislation, and spoke on the Senate floor prior to it being passed.
“… the committee was mindful of the deep concern of many State and local agencies that Federal assistance authorized under these programs should be for a reasonable period of time – to assure that local communities will not be taxed for a program they did not initiate.”
However, as most things tend to do with the government, the rules dramatically changed within a decade of the act. Originally, 100 percent of each state’s Medicaid and welfare benefits given to refugees would be reimbursed by the government. They would provide these benefits to refugees in the country for three years.
Five years later, Congress didn’t provide sufficient funding and the costs of the federal program began falling on state governments. By ten years, the government stopped all reimbursement of state costs. As expected, it has been a giant financial burden on the states.
Remember, the federal government can’t force states to support their programs using state revenues. States know this and they have started taking notice. The U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2010 looked at a review of the refugee admissions program. They were taking note of the costs that were associated with education and healthcare for refugees that were passed onto the state and local governments.
According to the Superintendent for Fort Wayne (IN) Community Schools, the cost of educating refugee students “regularly diverted [funds] from other programs.” It should also be noted that the Fort Wayne-Allen County Commissioner of Health testified that “[i]ncreasingly the costs of [HIV/AIDS] tests are being dropped on the laps of local and state governments.”
They are also footing the cost for the life-long treatment for hepatitis B discovered among the Burmese. It’s “…another significant cost the local community will be forced to bear.” The lawsuit wants to define Tennessee’s rights, considering the forced use of state funds for a program they’re not even a part of.
State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris was the one who led the passage of SJR 467. He described the suit as looking for relief. The suit “…offers a unique mechanism by which advocates may seek to remedy ongoing violations of statutory or constitutional law. Sometimes it’s cast in the nature of a friendly lawsuit to bring clarity to an otherwise cloudy situation.”
The main reason for the institution of the travel ban was to get a vetting process that would make the country safer. This is necessary, especially when it was learned that 300 refugees in the United States are under FBI investigation for terrorism. These are people that pose a significant risk to the country. Why should more of them be let in?
Not to mention that many migrants and refugees that come into the country lie about their age. They literally falsify information so that they can get into the country easier. When a majority of these refugees are lying to get into the country, there is something drastically wrong there.
Share this article to show that Tennessee has just filed a lawsuit against the federal government. They are not a part of the federal program, yet they are still forced to use their revenues to resettle refugees in their own state. This lawsuit is going to get some answers, and it might lead to more states doing the same thing. Be sure to watch this one carefully.