Appeals court rules on Syrian refugees: states cannot block their resettlement…
Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 4, 2016
…..if the state is taking federal money for refugee resettlement.
(That is the hook, always the hook, states take federal money and then lose their states’ rights!)
The lesson in this decision is that if you, the citizens of any state, want to control admission to your state of refugees being placed there by the US government, you have to either work to scrap or reform the Refugee Act of 1980 (long term) or, you have to work right now to limit federal spending for the program (so fewer refugees can be admitted in the first place).
Monumental task ahead….
Both solutions involve convincing a Congress where the Republican leadership is working against you with the help of most of your own representatives, the so-called religious charities, big greedy-for-cheap-labor global corporations, and the US Chamber of Commerce.
A political solution!
There are still some legal avenues (where is the Tennessee case?) that need to be attempted, but hanging your hat on some legal decision years down the road strikes me as an avoidance measure. Time to tackle your Congressmen and US Senators!
Here is the news from a conservative (we are told) Appeals Court (story posted by Nina Totenberg of NPR):
A federal appeals court panel Monday blocked Indiana Gov. and Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence’s attempt to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana.
The court upheld a lower court judge in barring Pence from interfering with the distribution of federal funds to resettle Syrian refugees in his state. The appeals court panel said that federal law bars discrimination based on nationality.
The three-judge panel that issued the ruling is an all-star group of conservative judges, including one of the judges on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees.
In a unanimous opinion, the appeals court said Gov. Pence acted illegally in accepting federal money for refugee resettlement and then refusing to use that money to aid Syrian refugees.
The panel rejected Pence’s argument that terrorists are posing as Syrian refugees to gain entry into the U.S., calling it a “nightmare speculation” based on no evidence. Indeed, the court said, the state presented no evidence that any Syrian refugee had been involved in a terrorist act in the U.S.
The court added that resettlement of persecuted refugees is a federal responsibility under the 1980 Refugee Act, which authorizes the president*** to determine, on the basis of “humanitarian concerns or … the national interest,” how many refugees to admit each year. In 2016, President Obama set the number at 85,000, including 10,000 Syrians.
It is about the money!
When Congress returns in November they will have to finish and approve the federal budget for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year (it began Oct. 1, this past Saturday). Congress will either fully fund Obama’s 110,000 refugee plan for 2017 or it won’t appropriate enough of your money for the full 110,000. It is that simple.
For new readers, I don’t want to go too deep in the weeds, but Texas withdrawing from the program last week, is only a stop gap measure because the federal government will assign a non-profit refugee contractor to run the program. Sure, they will be in chaos for a couple of months there, but it will eventually mean that Texas will be just like all the other Wilson-Fish states. (You are going to have to search RRW for ‘Wilson-Fish’ because I want to move on to other things this morning).
***No easy outs, only two things to save us—Trump is elected and you work your butts off to change Congress on this issue.
LOL! Here comes ‘Mom for Trump’ as promised!
Ann, could you tell all your readers on a daily basis to call our useless Congress @ 202 224 3121 and have them say DEFUND REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAM. I call daily and if enough of us do so, we can make a difference.