Refugee Resettlement Watch

Archive for the ‘Nashville’ Category

We need to get rid of slippery REPUBLICAN Senators like Bob Corker (R-TN)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 7, 2016

Don’t let letters like this one from Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee (thank God Trump did not choose him as VP) deter you. I’ve been asking all of you to write/call or whatever even if you know your US Senator or Congressmen are losers.

Thanks to a reader for sending this with this comment:

So much for contacting my senators and congressman, there are significant reforms don’t you know which makes everything all right.

Corker has done zip! He is one of the biggest problems we have in the US Senate and here he thinks he can blow you off with throwing the blame onto the Obama administration.  Corker and his fellow Republicans in the Senate hold the purse strings. They could cut off Obama’s funding if they wanted to—they don’t want to!


Surely Senator Corker is pressing Obama here on the golf course to slow the flow of mostly Muslim refugees to America!

With this letter, he insults his constituents by assuming you know nothing about refugee resettlement.  The Visa Waiver program has nothing to do with refugee admissions!  And, then he falls back to blame those dastardly Senate Democrats (who are in the minority!) for not getting anything done.

Corker is going to “press the administration!”  How about pressing your own leadership namely Mitch McConnell!

Letter from Senator Corker:

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office with your concerns regarding homeland security and the resettlement of refugees in the United States. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.

Like you, I believe there can be no shortcuts when it comes to guaranteeing the safety of the American people, and that protecting American citizens is the most significant responsibility of the United States Senate. In light of recent attacks in the United States and Europe, Congress can and should examine all potential gaps that might allow individuals who pose a security threat to enter our country, including in our refugee and visa programs and at our nation’s border, and resolve these issues in a constructive way to make sure our citizens are protected.

For this reason, I was pleased the Fiscal Year 2016 Omnibus Appropriations law included significant reforms to strengthen the visa waiver program, including prohibiting individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Syria, or countries that are state sponsors of terrorism, or are nationals of those countries, from using the visa waiver program to travel to the United States.

As you may know, I also voted to advance H.R. 4038, the American SAFE Act, which would put new requirements on the refugee vetting process for refugees who are nationals or residents of Iraq or Syria, or have been present in those countries at any point since March 2011, the beginning of the Syrian Civil War. Specifically, the FBI Director would have to certify the refugee vetting process, and refugees from these countries, could only be admitted into the United States after the Secretary of Homeland Security, the FBI Director, and the Director of National Intelligence certify that each refugee does not represent a threat to national security. While there was majority support for proceeding to debate this legislation, unfortunately Senate Democrats blocked it from coming to the floor.

Please know, I understand your concerns about the potential security risks from immigrant visa programs, including the resettlement of refugees in the United States. I will continue to use my position in the United States Senate and on the Foreign Relations Committee to press the administration to demonstrate leadership on this issue and protect Americans from all those who seek to do us harm.

Thank you again for your letter. I hope you continue to share your thoughts with me.


Bob Corker
United States Senator

Are you getting slippery letters like this one, send them my way and I will publish some (can’t promise to publish all if you send me dozens and dozens!).

And to our reader and all of you getting letters like this.  Write back and tell them their answer is unsatisfactory and you want to know what he/she is going to do right now on this year’s omnibus—tell them you want the funds cut completely for the Refugee Admissions Program because there has never been a satisfactory answer to the security screening issue.  Tell them in fact security screening time has been reduced for Syrians and ask slippery Senators like Corker what he is doing about it!

Posted in Colonization, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Big news! Tennessee AG allows 10th Amendment lawsuit to be filed against feds!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on July 7, 2016

It has been a long time coming, but regular readers know that the Tennessee legislature voted earlier this year to file a lawsuit against the federal government’s refugee resettlement program being operated in the state as a so-called Wilson-Fish program.

I’m not a lawyer and have no time to get into the weeds on the case, but just know that for these 12 states*** this case is the worst nightmare for the refugee industry in America.  It seems the case prepared by the Thomas More Law Center will proceed as the last impediment to filing has been removed!


Holly Johnson of Catholic Charities (left) calls the shots for TN. On the right is Jan Reeves who has been making decisions on who comes to Idaho for over two decades. Idaho is also a Wilson-Fish state!

Here is a little bit of the Tennessean last night (LOL! trying to downplay the momentous decision):

The lawsuit will move forward because a resolution approved by the legislature earlier this year included a provision that allows the legislature to hire outside counsel to sue the government for noncompliance of the Refugee Act of 1980.


“This Office shares the General Assembly’s concern about unauthorized federal intrusion in matters that have historically legally resided within the exclusive purview of state and local officials,” Slatery (TN AG) wrote in a letter sent to the clerks of both legislative chambers. “The founders in adopting the United States Constitution created a series of checks and balances to ensure that no one branch of government would have unfettered power.”

The federal government working with Catholic Charities and NOT with the elected officials of the state of Tennessee is basically spending Tennessee taxpayers’ money with no authorization from the legislature!

Proponents of the measure have said the lawsuit is necessary because the federal government has failed to consult with Tennessee on the continued placement of refugees while suggesting that the feds have shifted the cost of administering the program to the state without lawmakers specifically authorizing the appropriation of funds.

This is not the same case that was filed in Texas and Alabama! This is a states’ rights lawsuit!

Texas and Alabama have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement, but Tennessee’s forthcoming lawsuit would be the first based on the 10th Amendment, which states that the federal government possesses only powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.

Continue reading here.

We will write more later as others weigh in on the exciting news.

For all of you working in ‘pockets of resistance’ this is huge news, but it is not by itself a silver bullet! There is no one silver bullet! Unfortunately we cannot count on Congress to abolish or even reform this program with the present leadership. So we must all continue working on all of the seemingly small things we do every day to bring attention to the refugee resettlement industry in America!  I’m confident a tipping point is near!

The New York Daily News had its say about the Tennessee case with a story filed on Saturday. As someone said, it reads like a “novella!”  Check it out here since it discusses yours truly being driven by Islamophobia.  I guess what went down in Lake Calhoun, MN last week can all be chalked up to Islamophobia too!

***Two other states are effectively Wilson-Fish states now as Kansas and New Jersey withdrew from the program, but it appears governors there are too chicken to make the next move and file a lawsuit just as Tennessee will now do.

Posted in Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Is your Chamber of Commerce working with the ‘progressives’ at Welcoming America

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 27, 2016

They apparently are in Nashville, TN according to this story at a website called The New South?’

For background on ‘Welcoming America’ (click here ) for our past posts.

To tell you the truth, this, to me, is one of the great mysteries of the whole refugee resettlement industry—how is it that Republicans like Paul Ryan (backed by the Chamber) are so doggedly pro-refugee and the only answer that continues to make any sense is that refugees are needed as cheap labor for businesses (workers salaries are low, but welfare fills the gap) and they are all new consumers (food, used cars, housing etc.).

I don’t see any other explanation than this—your community is disrupted socially and culturally so these business interests can make more money, and politicians can fill their campaign coffers.

To add insult to injury, all of the myriad economic interests have figured out how to hide under that white hat of humanitarianism. Do they have training sessions on how to snooker the public? I wonder!

Perhaps one of the most shocking photos I’ve seen in a long time is this one (posted in this story).  Certain special people—‘NEW Americans’—are not required to pledge allegiance to their new country.


Somalis swearing


From The New South?

In 2014, speaking from Casa Azafran where TIRRC [Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition—ed] and its allied organizations are headquartered, Obama talked about his New American Task Force*** and his end-run-around-the-Congress DACA program. He specifically recognized, David Lubell, TIRRC’s first director and creator of “Welcoming Tennessee/ Welcoming America” who also won an award from the National Council of La Raza awarded.

Welcoming America will judge how progressive your community is

Nashville is among the “Welcoming Cities” in Welcoming America’s (WA) network. Last year, Welcoming America paid the Nashville Chamber of Commerce for an economic report to support their story that legal and illegal immigrants are the hub of Nashville’s economic success. The Chamber’s report looks strangely just like the WA website, suggesting a WA templated product that will be replicated by Chambers in other “welcoming cities.”

The real agenda of groups like TIRRC and WA is to mutate our communities until they satisfy a leftist open-borders, one-world, globalist vision of an ideal society.

Continue reading here.

Read about Obama’s New American Task Force, here.

Find out if your Chamber of Commerce is peddling a similar report!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Legal immigration and jobs, Muslim refugees, Nashville, Obama, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Secrecy surrounds refugee program in Tennessee (your state too!)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on June 25, 2016

This is an opinion piece published in The Tennessean yesterday and posted in its entirety here with permission from the author.

Barnett is an expert on the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program and its history having followed its progression for literally two decades.

From The Tennessean:

Before the Refugee Act of 1980, refugee resettlement was the work of true sacrificial charity, where sponsors and charities committed to maintaining and supporting the refugees with housing and employment, even medical care if needed. There was an explicit bar to the access of welfare benefits. The sponsor was responsible for all costs. This helped to guarantee assimilation and is how we absorbed post-WWII refugees, those fleeing communist oppression in Eastern Europe, the Hungarian Revolution and other upheavals.

Don Barnett 2

Barnett is a longtime resident of the Nashville, TN area

With the 1980 Refugee Act and related laws, the charities morphed into money-making federal contractors whose main job is to link the refugees with social services and welfare benefits. The 1980 act made all welfare available to refugees upon arrival — for life, if eligibility is maintained.

Originally, the Refugee Act included three years of federal refugee cash assistance and medical insurance. As well, state governments were reimbursed for their expenditures on welfare used by refugees, such as Medicaid (TennCare), for three years. By 1991, reimbursement from the feds for state welfare expenditures had been completely eliminated and the three-year period of refugee cash and medical assistance for refugees was limited to eight months.

According to the most recent government data, even those refugees in the country for five years are largely dependent on taxpayer largesse. Sixty percent of this group receives food stamps and 17 percent are on the cash welfare program Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). A nationwide U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study shows 44 percent are still in Medicaid and 29 percent of families who have been here for five years have one or more members on the lifetime cash welfare program Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

This gives an idea of the costs to the federal taxpayer and of the unfunded federal mandate placed upon state taxpayers by this program.

Because of the byzantine structure of Tennessee’s program, there is no way to get exact costs. Both the state refugee coordinator and state refugee health coordinator, who are supposed to represent the state and its taxpayers, are actually employees of Catholic Charities, the federal contractor whose income rises in direct proportion to the numbers of refugees resettled. Further, the salary for both of these positions is paid not by the contractor, but by the feds. How’s that for a conflict of interest?

In a healthy and open environment, information would be made available from these two sources, which would help in evaluating program success and program costs, such as use of TennCare by refugees, rates of infection with communicable disease and so on. Alas, because of incentives and disincentives built into the refugee coordinators’ jobs, the best strategy for them is to withhold information.

Secrecy surrounds all aspects of the program. We have no idea what it is costing Tennessee. Statistics about medical conditions among refugees are secret. Even the numbers of refugee arrivals proposed for next year is a secret. And when arrival numbers are reported, after the fact, they are routinely reported as lower than actual numbers by conveniently neglecting to include categories of resettlement that are not official refugees, but that have the same entitlements — and benefits to the contractor — as refugees.

Orwellian use of language allows for absurd claims about refugee economic integration. For instance, refugees are considered officially “self-sufficient” even if they receive every federal welfare benefit except TANF. Refugees in temporary jobs or training programs are counted as “employed.” An unpublicized federal audit from 1999 obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request found that Memphis Catholic Charities was dropping refugees off at a day labor lot and reporting them as “employed.”

It was never intended that the sponsors, known as “Voluntary Agencies,” would be purely federal contractors with all the behavior, untoward incentives, money and influence peddling that this brings. Yet, that is what we have today.

There would be no issue with this program if refugees were resettled in the traditional way America has always absorbed refugees. As long as the current resettlement model persists, it is imperative that Tennesseans have a say in how state resources are used. The state attorney general should proceed with SJR 467 challenging the federal government’s presumed authority over state resources.

We have previously posted op-eds by Don Barnett or written about his work, click here for posts mentioning Barnett.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

It’s getting testy in Tennessee over states’ rights lawsuit on refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 24, 2016

Republican State Senator Mark Norris criticizes Republican Gov. Bill Haslam in exchange characterized as the ‘gloves coming off.’

Readers, it is astounding to me, there is so much incredible (and critical) news about the federal Refugee Admissions Program in recent days and weeks and nary a word about it on any mainstream or cable media that I’ve seen.

In fact there will be a big public meeting in Rutland, VT this week and I’m seeing nothing in the media about it!

Back to Tennessee and another report from Breitbart’s star refugee reporter, Michael Patrick Leahy.  For new readers, please go here to read the background of this hot issue involving a Republican governor refusing to go along with his Republican legislature.

Leahy at Breitbart:

NASHVILLE, Tennessee—State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) is sharply rebuking Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam for mischaracterizing the Tennessee General Assembly’s Tenth Amendment lawsuit against the federal government for its operation of the refugee resettlement program to the state’s Attorney General, Herbert Slatery.

Mark Norris 2

TN Senator Mark Norris, standing up for the Tenth Amendment!

In a letter sent on Monday, Norris, the co-sponsor of Senate Joint Resolution 467, which passed both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly by wide margins, took the gloves off against the state’s Republican governor.

“I am troubled by the statement you released on Friday concerning SJR467,and I am uncomfortable with your mischaracterization of this important Resolution,” Norris wrote.

“The federal government must not do indirectly what it cannot lawfully do directly, and the Tennessee General Assembly must have the opportunity to approve, or disapprove, specific expenditures through the appropriation process,”


Norris then blasted Haslam for his poor understanding of the federal statutes and regulations upon which the federal refugee resettlement program is based.

Tennessee’s refugee lawsuit against the federal government “is not about ‘dismantling the Refugee Act’ as you said. It is about enforcing it,” Norris wrote….

There is much more here.

Come on governors of Wilson-Fish states, stand up for your states!!!  Where are you Chris Christie and Sam Brownback?

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 11 Comments »

Tennessee governor does not veto Legislature’s resolution opening door to states’ rights lawsuit

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 20, 2016

Update: Michael Patrick Leahy has a much more understandable story on what the governor has done (or not done), and what it means.  Click here for more.

The Tennessean titles this breaking news today a lot more optimistically (from our point of view) than the article actually indicates:

Haslam will allow Tennessee to become first to sue feds over refugee resettlement

Stephanie Teatro

Tennessee Immigrant Rights spokeswoman: “… the governor has helped secure Tennessee’s reputation as the most unwelcoming state in the country.”

Regular readers know that the Tennessee legislature overwhelmingly resolved to sue the federal government on 10th Amendment grounds and rather than sign the measure, the governor is going to let it go forward by not vetoing it either.

No matter! The reaction of the refugee industry activists tells me it must be good news for us!

Here is just a bit of the story, read it all:

Despite having concerns, Gov. Bill Haslam will allow Tennessee to become the first state in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the 10th Amendment.

On Friday, Haslam announced his decision to allow the measure, which directs Attorney General Herbert Slatery to sue the federal government for noncompliance of the Refugee Act of 1980, to become law without his signature.


Explaining his decision, Haslam noted the provisions in the bill that allows the General Assembly to hire outside counsel if Slatery refuses to pursue the case.

“I trust the Attorney General to determine whether the state has a claim in this case or in any other, and I have constitutional concerns about one branch of government telling another what to do,” Haslam said. “I am returning SJR 467 without my signature and am requesting that the Attorney General clarify whether the legislative branch actually has the authority to hire outside counsel to represent the state.”

Slatery’s office has not indicated whether he would follow the legislature’s directive.

Haslam also questioned whether it was the “proper course” for the state to attempt to dismantle the refugee act. [Shouldn’t it be a Republican governor’s job to stand up for states’ rights?—besides, the state isn’t dismantling the act, it is only asking the courts for a ruling—ed]

Read on here to get the full flavor of the waffling going on!

Regarding Ms. Teatro’s comments about “unwelcoming” states, it would be so much fun to have a competition for the most unwelcoming state in the Nation!  You could all send in your nominations!

They think that just by uttering the word “unwelcoming” you will be shaking in your boots and begging for forgiveness.

Come on Kansas, come on New Jersey!

Posted in Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

Tennessee Measles outbreak first identified at Memphis mosque

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 11, 2016

Update May 12th:  More here from Leahy at Breitbart.

We have long contended that you may be at greater risk from the health issues related to refugee resettlement than you would be from a catastrophic terrorist attack by a refugee.  See our health issues category with 290! previous posts to see what I mean!

[That said, I do believe that in the long term, the very greatest threat we face from the resettlement of tens of thousands of refugees each year is the more gradual, but ultimately more devastating, demographic change (the Hijra) that is necessary for the expansion of Islamic shariah law.]

But, nothing frightens people more in the short term than thinking about their children being exposed to potentially deadly diseases.

Holly Johnson Memphis

Leahy tells us that the Health Department has yet to call Holly Johnson who runs Catholic Charities of Tennessee and is responsible for the refugees entering the state. Wouldn’t she be able to tell them quickly if those infected were in their refugee data base for TN? And, doesn’t she have records on refugees’ immunizations? Here is how to reach Johnson:

Here is the news at Breitbart.  You can be sure this information would not have come out without relentless digging by Breitbart reporter Michael Patrick Leahy.

The first reported case of a person with measles in the recent Memphis outbreak, which now numbers seven confirmed cases, was at a local mosque on April 15, according to the Shelby County Health Department.

“The first public place where there was a public exposure potentially [to measles] was the Masjid Al-Noor Mosque on April 15,” Dr. Alisa Haushalter, Director of the Shelby County Health Department, tells Breitbart News.

“The mosque is one location we know that individuals who were infectious were during their infectious period, but that’s not necessarily where the first case occurred. I don’t want you to draw conclusions without sufficient information,” she added.

Haushalter acknowledged, however, that the measles outbreak could have originated with an unvaccinated for measles adult or child brought to Tennessee under the federal refugee resettlement program, something she called “a possibility amongst many.”


Surprisingly, the majority of the more than 70,000 refugees resettled annually across the United States through the federal refugee resettlement program are not required to have been vaccinated for measles prior to their arrival here.

Continue reading here.

If you live in the area, you definitely want to go to the full story because reporter Leahy provides a whole list of locations where you might have come in contact with one of the infectious Measles cases.

I get so steamed when I see stories like this because there is so much our good-for-nothing Congress could do to at least make this program safer if they can’t bring themselves to scrap it altogether!

Posted in Changing the way we live, health issues, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 8 Comments »

Breaking news: Tennessee legislature votes to sue feds over refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 19, 2016

It is an understatement to say that this is a significant development!  I have no time to give you all the details of the states’ rights lawsuit, so please read the story yourselves at Breitbart by clicking here.  Michael Patrick Leahy begins his report on the great news:

Mark Norris

Senator Mark Norris a leading co-sponsor of the resolution. Under Tennessee law, the governor is not required to sign a resolution.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–On Tuesday, the Tennessee General Assembly declared it will sue the federal government over its refugee resettlement program on Tenth Amendment grounds. The State Senate passed a resolution authorizing that lawsuit in a 29 to 4 vote one day after it passed the Tennessee House by a 69 to 25 margin.

“Today we struck a blow for Liberty by finally adopting SJR467,” State Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville), the co-sponsor of the resolution who shepherded it through the State Senate, tells Breitbart News.

Continue reading here.

See all of our coverage of the issue in Tennessee by clicking here.

I’ll be in DC tomorrow for meetings, so consequently I won’t be on top of all the latest news on the refugee front until I’m back on Thursday (and there is a lot of news)!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 19 Comments »

Tennessee legislature moves one step closer to states’ right lawsuit on refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on April 14, 2016

This is a big deal!

Just yesterday we reported that Syrian refugees resettled in Memphis, TN are dumpster diving because they don’t have jobs and apparently their resettlement agency (a contractor of the federal government) doesn’t raise enough private charitable money to help them!


Tennessee legislators have had enough of Washington making decisions for Tennessee taxpayers and are moving a resolution through the legislative process that in the end could result in a states’ rights lawsuit against the UN/US State Department Refugee Admissions Program.

Here is the latest from Michael Patrick Leahy writing for Breitbart:

NASHVILLE, Tennessee–The Tennessee General Assembly is on track to sue the federal government over the refugee resettlement program on Tenth Amendment grounds after Senate Joint Resolution 467 cleared its last substantive hurdle in the Tennessee House Finance Committee.

The resolution sailed through the committee on a voice vote, and is now headed to the Calendar and Rules Committee, which will schedule a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives some time during the next seven days. The resolution is expected to pass in a landslide, as 74 of the House’s 99 members have already signed on as sponsors.

In February, the resolution easily passed the State Senate by a 27 to 5 margin.

“As SJR 467 is moving forward, other states will read our actions. I am pleased that seventy-four of my colleagues believe wholeheartedly that Tennessee is responsible for asserting our state’s sovereignty rights under the Tenth Amendment,” State Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster), the sponsor of the resolution in the House, tells Breitbart News.


Rep Weaver is the chief sponsor of the resolution and was joined by 74 of her fellow legislators.

“We have seen unprecedented federal overreach during the Obama administration. We need clarity and definition concerning the relationship between the federal government and our state when it comes to appropriations to pay for the federal Refugee Resettlement Program,” Weaver adds.

It is now a virtual certainty that the Tennessee General Assembly will file the lawsuit in federal court, as the Thomas More Law Center, a well-respected conservative public interest law firm, has said it will represent the state of Tennessee at no cost, even if Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery chooses not to litigate the case.

Continue reading here.

You can do this too!

Readers, this is not a lawsuit only for Tennessee.  If you live in one of these so-called ‘Wilson-Fish’ states, your state too could be a plaintiff (because of the way the program has been structured in these states)…..

…..if your governor had guts!

Wilson Fish states: Alaska, Alabama, Colorado, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Dakota, North Dakota, Tennessee and Vermont.

Go here for our complete archive on the Wilson-Fish program.

Tenth Amendment poster above right can be ordered by going here:

Posted in Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Tennesseans urged to sign petition, Governor must hear from the people!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 27, 2016

Editor:  This is a guest post by Don Barnett, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a resident of Tennessee. 

If you are from Tennessee, the most important thing you can do is to post this information on your facebook page/other social media, and send to your e-mail lists.
Since the governor is supporting the status quo on refugee resettlement in Tennessee, TN he needs to hear from the people. Be sure to let your other elected officials know how you feel as well.



Don BarnettSupporters of maintaining the status quo in refugee resettlement in Tennessee – that is, allowing the federal contractor to run the program for its own benefit without a requirement that it report refugee social services usage or accurately report the numbers resettled – often point out that refugees pay more in taxes than they consume in benefits, so why all the fuss?

The resettlement program is so little understood and secretive that the contractors can make blatantly false statements and be assured those statements will be reported as fact by the media.

As reported in The Tennessean, the contractor notes that “a 2013 report presented to the Joint Government Operations Legislative Advisory Committee determined that refugees and their descendants provided $1.4 billion in revenue for Tennessee between 1990 and 2012, compared with requiring $753 million in state support.”


Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam (R) doesn’t want to rock the boat on refugee flow to TN. Photo:

The 2013 study was actually very limited and makes no such sweeping conclusion.

In assessing the cost of publicly funded benefits for refugees the study looked at just 2 programs – public education (including ELL) and Tenncare(Medicaid). It ignored a whole range of programs which Tennesseans use and fund both with Tennessee tax dollars and as federal tax payers.

Sen. Mark Norris noted that at last count 11 state funded programs were being accessed by arriving refugees.

The study assumed that refugees were using Tenncare (Medicaid) at the same rate as average Tennesseans even though up to 59% of refugees have been placed into Tenncare upon arrival in recent years.

A recent federal study found staggering welfare usage rates even among those in the country for 5 years – majority still on food stamps, 44% on Medicaid, 29 % of families with one or more members on SSI, 17% on TANF and so on.

In spite of known high welfare usage among refugees, the report assumed refugees pay state taxes at the same rate as average Tennesseans.

The study, which was supposed to have determined to what extent the feds had placed an unfunded mandate on the state of Tennessee, was hijacked by the pro-refugee lobby, i.e. the local Chamber of Commerce and refugee contractors.

The seemingly positive outcome of the study was foreordained even though the study authors themselves concluded “The information necessary to complete a comprehensive study on the possible cost shifting from the federal government to the state for the resettlement of refugees is not available.” And even though a complete reading of the study does not allow for any positive conclusion despite refugee industry statements.

Perhaps Tennesseans best hope is passage of senate resolution SJR467 which would allow The Thomas More Law Center to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on 10th amendment grounds. The public services law center will take the case at no charge to the state of Tennessee. Not only might it shed light on this program, but most importantly it would clarify to what extent, if any, the federal government can force a state to use state taxes to cover unfunded costs imposed by a federal program.

The resolution has overwhelming support in both houses of the Tennessee legislature but has stirred fierce opposition from the usual suspects, including Governor Haslam.

All Tennesseans concerned with this should sign the petition included here and tell the Governor to stop trying to block the democratic process.

For our extensive Tennessee archive, click here.  See here for background on what the governor is doing.

This political work on-going in Tennessee, on the question of refugee resettlement and states’ rights, is groundbreaking!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Comments worth noting/guest posts, Community destabilization, creating a movement, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition, Who is going where | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

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