Tennessee’s giant step forward in defending states’ rights in refugee resettlement issue
Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 23, 2016
Yesterday, Michael Patrick Leahy of Breitbart reported the incredible news that the Tennessee Senate passed a resolution that advances the Tenth Amendment concerns of many as it relates to the federal government (and its non-profit contractors) dropping off refugees in states where the state taxpayer then must pony-up and pay for some of their welfare, education and healthcare (without any say through an elected body). Our earlier post on the Tennessee legislature is here.
And, interestingly, in my previous post I mentioned an article in The Nation in which the author says that those states that have filed lawsuits against the federal program (Texas and Alabama for example) haven’t a legal leg to stand on. However, they never mentioned the possible bombshell that could be coming from Tennessee.
The Tennessee State Senate overwhelmingly passed a resolution by a 27 to 5 margin requiring a state lawsuit against the federal government program that is dumping refugees into the Volunteer State.
Senate Joint Resolution 467 now goes to the Tennessee House of Representatives, where sources tell Breitbart News it is expected to pass some time in the next three weeks.
Passage of the resolution by the State Senate means that it is certain a lawsuit will be filed against the federal government’s Refugee Resettlement Program on Tenth Amendment grounds, something that no other state has yet done.
Both Texas and Alabama have filed federal lawsuits claiming that the federal government has failed to comply with the “consultation clause” of the Refugee Act of 1980. That argument, however, is considered to be on very thin legal grounds because the standard required to establish “consultation” is very low.
The State Senate is expected to wait on filing the lawsuit until it is joined by the House of Representatives, so the entire Tennessee General Assembly will be the plaintiff.
“This Resolution strikes a blow for liberty,” Majority Leader Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville), the co-sponsor of the bill who carefully guided it through the upper chamber tells Breitbart News in an exclusive statement.
Norris calls the resolution, “a declaration of our rights as a sovereign state which upholds the principles by which we foster freedom.”
Continue reading! This is very important!
Leahy tells us that the lawsuit would apply first to the so-called Wilson Fish states*** and other 11 states could join Tennessee or file their own lawsuit. In some states it requires the governor to be the plaintiff, but in Tennessee (others?) the legislature can do it.
And, for those of you in 36 other states here is what a serious state government (Texas! for example) could do:
Other states who are seeking a way to stop the unhindered flow of refugees will see in the Tennessee State senate’s action a legal path to successfully resist the continued operation of the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program in their states.
The other 11 “Wilson-Fish alternative program” states can join the Tennessee lawsuit, or they can file their own Tenth amendment challenges to the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program.
The remaining states that are currently participating in the program can withdraw from it, thereby becoming “Wilson-Fish alternative program” states, and also file Tenth amendment challenges to the U.S. Refugee Resettlement program.
***Wilson Fish states: Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.
Looking for the ‘silver bullet?’
I often tell people there is no one “silver bullet” to end the Refugee Admissions Program as constructed by the original Kennedy/Biden Refugee Act of 1980, but the Constitutional States’ Rights issue comes mighty close.
However! Do not expect your Republican governors and Republican legislatures to see the light shining in Tennessee and just jump on the bandwagon.
Most will be too chicken and some will see the refugee program as the source of cheap labor for their campaign donors, so it’s up to you to keep the pressure on through various means—resolutions, protests, letters to the editor, community meetings, agitation and pressure on elected officials at all levels of government, and Election 2016 campaigning are all examples of what you can do (and are doing!).
All of that political activity is vitally important. You can make it possible for elected officials to take action by creating the political climate they need.
In short, it is your job to agitate and create controversy just as the No Borders Left does all the time!
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