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Posts Tagged ‘States Rights’

Tennessee appeals earlier dismissal of States’ Rights Refugee case

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 11, 2018

The only state in the nation to attempt to get some control back for the state when the federal government sends them refugees is appealing an earlier decision by a judge to dismiss the case.

This is the latest from the Tennessean:

Tennessee is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit against the federal government over refugee resettlement.

logo thomas more

The Thomas More Law Center, which is representing the state in the case, filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Thursday.  

The case comes after state lawmakers approved a resolution in 2016 ordering the lawsuit.

Teatro

Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said the state’s appeal will “continue dragging our state’s reputation through the mud.”

In the case, Tennessee alleged the federal government violated the 10th Amendment, which says the federal government only possesses the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.

When the lawsuit was filed in March 2017, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to sue the federal government on the matter using such grounds.

Tennessee argued that the federal government was not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, which was designed to create a permanent procedure for the admission of refugees into the United States.

Lawmakers have previously said the lawsuit is necessary to halt all refugee resettlement to the state until all associated costs are paid by the federal government.

Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition have frequently slammed the lawsuit, saying it will negatively affect the state’s refugee community and perpetuate a culture of fear.

More here.

See the statement from the Thomas More Law Center by clicking here.

See all of my posts on Tennessee/Tenth Amendment.

And, learn more about the problems with refugees in Tennessee at my huge Tennessee archive here.  You will find a lot of meatpacker stories among those posts.

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Judge dismisses Tennessee States’ Rights case on refugee resettlement

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 22, 2018

A Tennessee judge this week moved to dismiss a case that would have, we believe, once and for all, settled the issue of whether the federal government can place refugees in a state and expect state taxpayers to pay for many of their needs.

Screenshot (308)

So sad. I had such high hopes for AG Sessions. He of all people should have known how significant this case is.

But, as you read the story, remember that the Judge was dismissing the case because the US Justice Department (Jeff Sessions) asked for the case to be dismissed.

We told you back in May that DOJ lawyers were pushing for dismissal.

I find it stunning that AG Jeff Sessions did not see the significance of this Tenth Amendment case for, not just the refugee resettlement program, but for other programs where the feds dump financial responsibility on states that don’t want it! (And, don’t tell me he might not have known what his lawyers were doing!).

Here is Neil Munro writing at Breitbart on Tuesday:

A March 19 federal court decision requiring taxpayers in Tennessee to fund the federal government’s refugee program ignores a 2012 Supreme Court decision, says Richard Thompson, president of the Thomas More Law Center.

The judge’s 43-page decision on the refugee program “is filled with appealable issues,” Thompson told a Tuesday event hosted by the Center for Immigration Studies. “Our view is that we should appeal it” at no cost to state taxpayers, said Roberts, who is the lead pro-bono lawyer in the case.

tenth amendment

“We would relish that … this case could very well end up in the Supreme Court,” he said.

A Supreme Court majority ruled in 2012 that the federal government cannot force states to fund federal programs, so “the judge basically backed off because it was too controversial and ruled on the basis of standing,” Thompson added.

The case is important for many states because the federal refugee program forces state taxpayers and governments to fund most of the welfare, aid, and education costs of federal government’s policy of dropping refugees and their children in the states, he said. If states balk at paying the costs, the federal government can threaten to cut their share of federal funding for the Medicare program, he said.

In Tennessee, the federal Medicare program funds one-fifth of the state budget, or $7 billion per year.

[….]

The judge did not hold a hearing on the case but relied on written statements from the plaintiffs and defendants.

The judge’s decision shows the political power of the federal program, said Mark Krikorian, director of the center. “A state can check out of the refugee program, but it can never leave,” he said.

More here.

As I understand it, it is now up to the state of Tennessee to decide to take the Thomas More Law Centers‘ offer to appeal the case, free of charge. (Or, will big industry—meatpackers!—prevail on the pols to drop the whole thing so their steady supply of cheap refugee labor continues to flow into the state.)

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump | Tagged: , , | 13 Comments »

Barnett: Trump could take one simple step to give states back the power to withdraw from the refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 15, 2018

Don Barnett lays it out (what Donald Trump could do virtually overnight) in the Washington Times on Tuesday.

First some of the background:

When the Obama administration raised the refugee admission quota for fiscal 2017 to 110,000, New Jersey, Maine, Kansas and Texas formally withdrew from the resettlement program.

Actually, this is a program states can never leave. A Clinton-era regulation prevents states from meaningfully withdrawing from the federal refugee resettlement program. If history is any guide, those states that left the program are getting more refugees now than they would have had they stayed in the program.

ted and bill

Yucking it up! Ted and Bill—two of the main reasons you have refugees secretly placed in your states against the will of most of the voting public.

The only reason it is not evident is because the national quota for 2018 was lowered by the Trump administration to 45,000; the fiscal year will likely end with a number even smaller than that.

Reform the law while President Trump is in power, or else!

By law the president can zero out the quota altogether and a new president could increase it to 200,000 or higher. Before that happens, it may be wise to look at reforming the program.

First step!

At least one reform would fit in with the president’s goal of putting the federal government back into its proper constitutional role vis a vis the states.

The Refugee Act intended to insulate states from program costs. The bill’s Senate sponsor, Edward Kennedy, noted the program would “assure full and adequate federal support for refugee resettlement programs by authorizing permanent funding for state, local and volunteer agency projects.”

Unlike other legal immigrants, refugees are eligible for all federal welfare programs on the same basis as citizens upon arrival. (This is a lifetime entitlement for refugees who become citizens.)

[….]

Substantial costs have been purposely shifted to state taxpayers over the years.

[….]

Likely in response to rumblings from state governments about exiting the program, the Clinton administration promulgated regulation 45 CFR 400.301 in 1994 allowing resettlement contractors to continue operations in a state regardless of state objections. This arrangement allowed private contractors to operate independently with no input from state government. Regulatory fiat guaranteed that a state could never get out of the program or escape its fiscal impact on state revenues.

Prior to 45 CFR 400.301 the states were participating in and paying for a voluntary program from which they had every right to withdraw at any time with the expectation that no refugees would be resettled in the state.

Repeal it Donald! Repeal it!

Repeal of 45 CFR 400.301 would have the immediate effect of allowing states to withdraw from the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

tenth amendment

It is the Tenth Amendment stupid!  (Off topic, but don’t you think it’s riot that the state of California is pushing back against the US Justice Department on immigration using the States’ Rights provision of the Constitution!)

Barnett wraps up…..

Regulations can be repealed and they can be reissued. A judicial decision on the Tennessee lawsuit’s principle question on just how far the federal government can impose on a state’s control over its own resources is still needed and extends beyond the refugee resettlement program.

More here.

Come on DOJ, get moving on the Tennessee lawsuit, surely AG Sessions knows how significant this case is!

And, then as I intone on a regular basis—Where is Congress? The original Refugee Act of 1980 must be dumped and rewritten (if the voters want a rewrite). And, the window is open now while Trump is in office!

Forget the ‘humanitarian’ mumbo-jumbo….

I suspect it is the Republican leadership driven by the Chamber of Commerce and giant corporations that keep the law from ever being seriously reviewed by Congress.

Looking for something to do?

Contact the White House and tell the President that federal regulation 45 CFR 400.301 violates the Tenth Amendment and you want him to dump it.  Tell him also to get moving with long term reform to the Refugee Act of 1980 that set up the present system of paying (on a per head basis) NGO contractors to place refugees in your towns without notice or discussion.

Posted in Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump, What you can do | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

Only a few states where anyone is willing to stand up to Washington, South Dakota is one

Posted by Ann Corcoran on February 21, 2018

A bill being discussed in the South Dakota legislature today represents a rare case where a legislator is willing to stare down the US State Department with a demand that those who live in the state have a right to say “NO” about who is resettled in the state as their tax dollars are gobbled up in the process.

neil tapio

SD Senator Neal Tapio

 

State Senator Neal Tapio, a candidate for Congress, is sending a message.

Here is the AP story at The Seattle Times.   AP obviously assumes the story is big enough to free it from local South Dakota media where it would normally be hidden from national view (so as not to give other states any ideas!).

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota would suspend refugee resettlements from countries on “any federal travel ban list” under a measure awaiting a legislative hearing that critics argue would be struck down by the courts if it ever becomes law.

The bill is set to have its first hearing Wednesday before the Senate State Affairs Committee. Republican Sen. Neal Tapio’s legislation would also direct the state to refuse “chain migration” from citizens of countries on such a list. That system gives advantages to the relatives of legal immigrants.

Tapio, a congressional candidate, said a potential legal challenge would be worth fighting if the bill becomes law. He said the federal government doesn’t have the right to “make your neighborhood less safe.”

“We should fight for our wives and our daughters and our kids and our grandkids,” Tapio said. “This is about the future of our communities and the citizens that live within them.”

 

taneeza islam

The media’s go-to-gal on Islam in South Dakota is back.  Since she thinks she is an expert on the Constitution she needs a refresher course on the 10th Amendment.

[….]

Taneeza Islam, an immigration lawyer and executive director of South Dakota Voices for Justice, said the bill’s sponsors don’t understand the “fundamental rights that we have in our U.S. Constitution” and didn’t think through how the proposal would be implemented.

Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen, told the Argus Leader that the Republican executive opposes the bill.

More here.

We will be back tomorrow with news about the hearing.

We have written on many previous occasions about South Dakota, a rare pocket of resistance, where business (meatpackers!) and community leaders have often been out front in saying they want the steady supply of (cheap) labor that refugees and other immigrants represent in the state.

Go here for my South Dakota archive, and here for other posts on Taneeza Islam, a former CAIR Minnesota lawyer who has moved (been moved?) to South Dakota to stir up action there.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | Comments Off on Only a few states where anyone is willing to stand up to Washington, South Dakota is one

Guest column: Feds shifting costs to states for refugee resettlement

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 8, 2017

Editor: From time to time we post guest commentary. This is from Joanne Bregman. As we refocus our efforts at the state and local level, because we can’t count on Washington, this is an effective argument for you to make on the state level.

This is about States’ rights!

(emphasis below is mine)

Federal Cost Shifting of the Refugee Resettlement Program

Background

In 1980 the federal government formalized the refugee resettlement program by passing the Refugee Act of 1980. There was no mandate to force states to participate in this program. Federal appropriations to provide for medical and cash assistance for newly resettled refugees, was authorized for 36 months. Refugees were and still are, first required to use state Medicaid programs if they are eligible, before federal medical assistance funds are used.

When the federal law was passed, it provided that for each refugee brought to a state by a federal contractor, states would be reimbursed 100% for three full years, the state incurred cost of providing Medicaid and cash welfare. The law also provided, that for refugees who did not meet eligibility criteria for state Medicaid and cash welfare programs, they could instead, receive a federal subsidy – Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) and Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) for 36 months.

By 1991, even though the number of refugees being resettled was not decreasing, the federal government eliminated reimbursement to states for the state cost of resettling and supporting refugees with Medicaid and cash welfare.

In addition, the federal government reduced the RCA and RMA subsidy from 36 months to 8 months for refugees who do not qualify for state funded programs. States have no other choice but to assume the greater share of the voluntary federal program’s costs.

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The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement told Congress early on in the program that the reason states were no longer being reimbursed for the state’s costs was because Congress didn’t appropriate enough money.

The 1981 Select Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy convened by Congress also documented that even the initial 3 years of 100% reimbursement to states, was not sufficient to “minimize the impact of refugees on community services.” The Commission was specifically referring to schools, hospitals and community support services.

In 1990, the U.S. General Accounting Office documented that the reduction in reimbursement to states for the federal refugee resettlement program, “costs for cash and medical assistance have shifted to state and local governments.” The National Governors Association has also questioned the federal cost shifting, stating that “[t]hese reductions represent a major federal policy change that shifts fiscal responsibility for meeting the basic needs of refugees from the federal government to states and localities.”

As the resettlement industry has grown, so has the cost to both federal and state governments but only the federal government controls its costs by appropriating annually “as available” while each state’s cost is driven by how much of the federal cost Congress chooses not to pay.

Be sure to see my post from earlier this past week about what you need to do on a state and local level, here.

This post is filed in my ‘What you can do’ category and in Comments worth noting.’

Posted in Changing the way we live, Comments worth noting/guest posts, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Refugee statistics, Taxpayer goodies, What you can do, Where to find information | Tagged: | 13 Comments »

Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department planning to ask for dismissal of TN refugee case; feds say they lack time to deal with it!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on May 10, 2017

Gee, I wonder why they are so busy?  Of course, you would be living under a rock if you didn’t know that the Dept. of Justice recommended (and the President concurred) firing the Obama-appointed Director of the FBI, James Comey, yesterday.

I joked on twitter that the reason for the firing was because Comey admitted to Congress (without prompting!) that 300 refugees are in the pool of 2,000 cases being investigated by the FBI for reaching out to foreign terrorists.  See yesterday’s pre-firing post here.

In my opinion, in the long run, this Tennessee case is more important for the future of this country than anything to do with James Comey’s firing!

So why does the Trump Justice Department not have enough lawyers to handle a couple of big issues at once?

Now here is what The Tennessean is reporting yesterday about the lawsuit we watched being developed for years.  New readers might want to check this post when the case was filed in March for some background.

The federal government will ask for a dismissal of Tennessee’s lawsuit over refugee resettlement, according to document filed in federal court on Monday.

While seeking more time to file their request, attorneys for the Department of Justice said Tennessee lacks standing and “their claim is unripe.”

In March, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement, citing a violation by federal officials of the 10th Amendment. The amendment says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution, with all other powers reserved for the states.

The lawsuit argues the federal government has unduly forced states to pay for refugee resettlement programs.

The federal refugee act was designed to create a permanent procedure for the admission of refugees into the United States.

The lawsuit asks the court to force the federal government to stop resettling refugees in Tennessee until all costs associated with the settlement are incurred by the federal government.

In a brief response to the state’s lawsuit, federal attorneys say the state’s claims “lacks merit.”

Chad Readler, former Jones Day attorney, heads the Civil Rights Division responsible for the case. http://www.law.umich.edu/newsandinfo/features/Pages/ChadReadler_050917.aspx

Give me a break! Hire more lawyers if you can’t get the work done!

While explaining that they’d like until June 1 to prepare for their request for dismissal of the lawsuit, DOJ attorneys say they’ve been preoccupied with other matters.

“Defendants’ counsel have worked diligently to prepare their motion to dismiss, but due to the number and complexity of the issues, and the unexpectedly heavy press and urgency of business in other litigation for which undersigned counsel is responsible, Defendants require additional time,” the filing states.

Chad Readler, who has been involved in federal court cases related to President Donald Trump’s executive action on sanctuary cities, is among several attorneys for the federal government handling Tennessee’s lawsuit.

Continue reading here.

Silver lining….

The Thomas More Law Center does excellent work and if Trump’s Justice Department doesn’t keep the case out of court (as they appear to be aiming to do!) then a lack of knowledgeable and skilled federal attorneys defending the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program may be a good thing!

Always a very wild card these days is if the case is heard by a politicized judge!

Posted in Changing the way we live, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Trump Watch! | Tagged: , , | 21 Comments »

If SD governor willing to do this, why not take next step, join the Tennessee States’ rights case?

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 19, 2017

First, South Dakota is already a Wilson-Fish state which means a private non-profit group determines (along with the US State Department in Washington) how many refugees are placed in the state and where in the world they come from. Elected officials have little say over the process.

In SD they are trying to get some control.

Here we learn that the state legislature passed, and the governor signed, a measure in to law that restricts South Dakota’s Department of Social Services (aka welfare agency) from entering agreements with feds and their agent in the state—Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota.

From the Tenth Amendment Center:

PIERRE, S.D. (March 17, 2017) – South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill into law repealing the authority of the state Department of Social Services to enter into agreements related to the Refugee Act of 1980.

A coalition of 12 Republican representatives and senators sponsored Senate Bill 124 (SB124). Originally, the bill would have required the state legislature to approve refugee resettlement in the state, effectively giving it a veto over future resettlement. An amendment in the State Affairs Committee stripped away the approval requirement. But the law did strip the authority of the state Department of Social Services to unilaterally enter into agreements with the federal government for refugee resettlement by repealing SD Codified L § 28-1-47 (2015). That provision allowed the department to “enter into agreements with agencies of the United States for the purpose of participating in the Refugee Act of 1980.”

Increasing reporting requirements is important….

The new law also increases reporting requirements for private agencies in the state assisting with refugee resettlement. Agencies must report information including services provided, demographics and the number of refugees assisted from each country.

But…..

From a practical standpoint, SB124 won’t change much, other than the reporting requirements. Currently, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota runs the state’s resettlement program. That won’t change under the new law and it won’t limit resettlement.

But the law does increase transparency and gives the state more control over future resettlement. It will also prevent the state from directly running resettlement programs without legislative action.

Time for South Dakota to take the leap! Join Tennessee. State legislators who have led this fight should call the Thomas More Law Center to see how to join.

See our South Dakota archive here.  I traveled through the state last summer during my 6,000 mile trip to troubled refugee hotspots.  Grassroots activists there are increasingly organized.

BTW, the last I heard the Somali charged with attempted murder (who jumped bail) is still missing.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Tennessee files suit against federal government over cost to state of refugee program

Posted by Ann Corcoran on March 14, 2017

It’s been a  long time coming, but yesterday, the State of Tennessee filed its Tenth Amendment case against the US Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services over the issue of cost-shifting of the US Refugee Admissions Program to the states.

Readers, this is big news!

Here is Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart yesterday (I see that Drudge featured the story last night and Fox News has picked it up as well):

The Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Tennessee General Assembly and the State of Tennessee in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Monday challenging the federal refugee resettlement program for violating the state’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit places Tennessee at the center of the national debate concerning the operation of the federal refugee resettlement program.

President Trump will be holding a rally in Nashville on Wednesday to garner public support for his agenda. His revised Executive Order 13780 temporarily halting the federal refugee resettlement program and temporarily banning travel from six Middle Eastern countries goes into effect on Thursday.

[….]

The Refugee Act specified that 100 percent of each state’s cost of Medicaid and cash welfare benefits provided to each resettled refugee during their first 36 months in the United State would be reimbursed to each state by the federal government. However, within five years of having created the federal program, Congress failed to appropriate sufficient funding and instead, costs of the federal program began shifting to state governments.

Within ten years of passing the Refugee Act, the federal government eliminated all reimbursement of state costs, a huge financial cost to the states that was, in effect, yet another unfunded federal mandate.

[….]

The lawsuit seeks to define Tennessee’s rights in light of the forced expenditure of state funds in support of a federal program from which the state has formally withdrawn.

Continue here and see below the full text of the press release from the Thomas More Law Center.

For all of you in states that have withdrawn from the program***, you must push your governor and legislators to join this case.

If your state has not withdrawn and is willing to sue on states’ rights grounds, this is the direction you should be following: withdraw and then sue when the feds assign a non-profit to run the program!

To further your understanding, here (and below) is the full press release from the Thomas More Law Center, yesterday:

First in the Nation — Tennessee Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee General Assembly, and two State legislators, challenging the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program as a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the principles of State sovereignty.

Defendants in the lawsuit include the U.S Departments of State and Health and Human Services, and their respective Secretaries.

Assisting the Thomas More Law Center, pro bono, is attorney B. Tyler Brooks with the law firm of Millberg Gordon Stewart PLLC located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, noted, “Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts has observed, ‘The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.’ We intend to follow that advice in our lawsuit on behalf of the State of Tennessee and its citizens. We are asking the Court to stop the bleeding out of millions of Tennessee taxpayer dollars each year to fund a federal program from which the State officially withdrew in 2007.”

Thompson added, “Although there are compelling policy reasons to dismantle the existing refugee resettlement program in favor of resettling refugees in Middle East safe- zones as President Trump has suggested, this lawsuit focuses solely on the unconstitutional way the federal program is currently operating in the State of Tennessee.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The purpose of the lawsuit is not to inflict harm on refugees, but to preserve the balanced constitutional relationship between the federal government and the States. It seeks a court declaration that the federal government has violated the Tenth Amendment and an order permanently enjoining the federal government from forcing the State of Tennessee to pay money out of its treasury to finance the federal refugee resettlement program.

The Tennessee General Assembly, by overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate, passed Senate Joint Resolution 467 (“SJR 467”) during the 2016 legislative session, which authorized legal action to stop the federal government from unconstitutionally commandeering State funds to finance the federal refugee resettlement program.

State Senator John Stevens and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver are the two legislators who joined the lawsuit as individual plaintiffs. Senator Stevens is First Vice-Chair of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Ways and Means, which is responsible for all measures relating to taxes and oversight of public monies in the State’s treasury. Representative Terri Lynn Weaver is the Chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee which is charged with oversight of the budget relating to transportation.

Senator Stevens stated, “Through federal economic dragooning of our State’s budget, past Presidents and Congresses have quieted my vote and thereby my constituents’ voices. President Trump through executive action has reversed the overreaches of the Obama Administration in numerous ways. I trust President Trump in this regard. However, he needs our help.”

Continued Stevens, “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.”

Representative Weaver, who played an instrumental role in mobilizing legislative support for passage of SJR 467, commented, “Of all the legislation that I have worked on, this by far is the most important. The only way we can get back to our constitutional beginnings and the intent birthed by our Founding Fathers is to go and take it back. We are looking forward to linking arms with the Thomas More Law Center for the long haul to regain sovereignty for our great State.”

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, another strong advocate for the lawsuit, emphasized the point that the lawsuit should not be taken as a criticism of the Trump Administration, “We want to convey to the President that we support his efforts concerning immigration and refugee resettlement and believe this suit for declaratory relief is consistent with what would likely be his position regarding states like Tennessee which have withdrawn from the refugee resettlement program but are forced to continue paying costs associated with it.”

When Congress enacted the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980, the explicit intent was to assure full federal reimbursement of the costs for each refugee resettled and participating in benefit programs provided by the states. Eventually, however, federal reimbursements to the states for these benefit programs were reduced and, by 1991, eliminated entirely. The states thereby became responsible for the costs of the programs originally covered by the federal government.

Tennessee officially withdrew from participation in the refugee resettlement program in 2007. However, instead of honoring Tennessee’s decision to withdraw from the program, the federal government merely bypassed the State and appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a private, non-governmental organization to administer the program. Catholic Charities receives revenue based upon the number of refugees it brings into the State.

Currently, Tennessee State revenues that could otherwise be used for State programs to help Tennesseans are, in effect, appropriated by the federal government to support the federal refugee resettlement program. This arrangement displaces Tennessee’s constitutionally mandated funding prerogatives and appropriations process.

The Complaint is here.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at http://www.thomasmore.org.

*** These are the so-called Wilson-Fish states that have withdrawn from the program over the years.

In addition to these below, several states have withdrawn in the last year and those include: Texas, Kansas, New Jersey and Maine. Florida is considering it right now.

Texas citizen activists must press your governor. He has already shown a willingness to sue the feds, but this is a much stronger case!

To the right of the state (and one county) is the federal NGO running the program in the state (I don’t know who has been assigned in the 4 recent withdrawals mentioned above):

Alabama: USCCB – Catholic Social Services

Alaska: USCCB – Catholic Social Services

Colorado: Colorado Department of Human Services

Idaho: Janus Inc. (formerly Mountain States Group), Idaho Office for Refugees

Kentucky: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Louisville, Kentucky Office for Refugees

Louisiana: USCCB – Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Office for Refugees

Massachusetts: Office for Refugees and Immigrants

Nevada: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada

North Dakota: LIRS – Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota

San Diego County, CA: USCCB – Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego

South Dakota: LIRS – Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

Tennessee: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Tennessee Office for Refugees

Vermont: USCRI – Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program

 

 

Posted in Changing the way we live, Community destabilization, Nashville, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies | Tagged: , , | 6 Comments »

Tennessee lawsuit challenging refugee program could be filed by end of January, Kentucky may join

Posted by Ann Corcoran on January 12, 2017

Faithful readers know that this is a long time in coming, but we now see movement with the legal challenge that has the best shot of success in pushing the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program toward reform.

haslam4

Tennessee’s Republican Governor Bill Haslam fought the legislature on this issue. He welcomes more refugees to the state. Tennessee’s two US Senators (Alexander and Corker) also have done nothing to control expansion of the program in Tennessee.

The case, to be litigated by the Thomas Moore Law Center after the Tennessee legislature voted to sue and the governor agreed to hire them, involves the so-called Wilson-Fish provision that many believe is being used to unlawfully place the refugee program in a non-profit groups’ hands in states where the state government has opted out of the federal program.

In other words, one of the questions to be resolved is can a non-profit group (working with the feds) say how state taxpayer funds are spent, which is essentially what is happening in states that have withdrawn from the program?

States that could join Tennessee are those that recently withdrew including Texas, Maine, New Jersey and Kansas.  The older Wilson-Fish states, in addition to Tennessee and Kentucky, are also possible litigants, depending on the structure of their program, and include: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont.

Here is the news from The Tennessean yesterday:

Tennessee’s lawsuit against the federal government over refugee resettlement could be filed by the end of the month, a proponent of the effort said Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said a team of legal experts was coming to Nashville to discuss the forthcoming lawsuit, which was approved by the legislature last year.

“We will be working on the complaint that we intend to file I hope before the end of the month,” he said, while indicating that there has been interest from some in Kentucky about joining the lawsuit.

Norris said any lawsuit would be filed in the federal court in Nashville or possibly in Washington, D.C.

Tennessee’s lawsuit will be the first of its kind in the nation, given that it will challenge the federal government for noncompliance of the Refugee Act of 1980 based on the 10th Amendment.

[….]

The basis of the lawsuit centers on based on several arguments, including that the federal government has failed to consult with the state on the continued placement of refugees; the cost of administering the refugee resettlement program has been shifted to the state without officials specifically authorizing the appropriation of funds; and that the ongoing placement of refugees is a violation of the 10th Amendment.

Last fall, legislative leaders signed off on the selection of the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based legal group that has taken on several conservative legal causes in recent years.

For our extensive archive on Tennessee, click hereGo here for all of our reporting on Wilson-Fish states.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Nashville, Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, The Opposition | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Texas AG makes stupid, uninformed comments about refugee program!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 23, 2016

Approximately 6,000 refugees came to Texas in 2015 and 2016, but Texas never knew the extent of the program. (Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton)

Who is he trying to fool!

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on Fox & Friends yesterday that the state never knew the extent of the refugee program in the state. OMG! The State had been paying a refugee coordinator for years and years and no one apparently at the governor’s level ever asked? What incompetence! Or was it?

texas-ag-paxton

Texas AG Ken Paxton. The real test for Texas comes after January.  Will they then sue the feds with a Wilson-Fish states’ rights suit? Or, are they all talk and no action!

If we knew that Texas was the number one state in the nation for refugee resettlement (it gained that distinction in 2011), why didn’t Texas leaders know?

By the way, the Texas governor pulled the state out of the program (officially in January the state will be out), but what did they expect was going to happen, that the refugee flow would be cut off?

Did no one investigate the Wilson-Fish program and how the feds will step in and simply appoint a non-profit contractor to run the program in the state?  This strikes me as sheer incompetence!

They still have a way out, or a possible way out! Once they are designated a Wilson-Fish state we will see if the governor and this Attorney General have the guts to sue the feds as Tennessee is doing!

From Newsmax:

Texans are “stuck with no control” over the refugees coming into their state, and Attorney General Ken Paxton said Thursday state leaders are concerned the same situation going on in Europe will happen in the United States.

[….]

Texas has sued the federal government to try to stop refugees from being placed in the state, but federal law controls the issue, Paxton said.  [Yes, but it was a dumb lawsuit!—ed]

[….]

Earlier this fall, Paxton warned Texas will pull out of the federal refugee-resettlement program in January unless major changes were made. Approximately 6,000 refugees*** came to Texas in 2015 and 2016, but Texas never knew the extent of the program.

Hey, Mr. Paxton, do you need a phone number for the Thomas Moore Law Center, or can you handle finding that yourself?

Paxton also told Fox that they were counting on Donald Trump to save their bacon.

See our complete Texas archive here, and don’t miss Austin mayor working against the state here two days ago.

***He doesn’t even have the numbers correct. Checking Wrapsnet.org we learned that for calendar years 2015 and 2016 (until December 20th), the state of Texas admitted 15,681 refugees.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Pockets of Resistance, Refugee Resettlement Program, Resettlement cities, Who is going where | Tagged: , , | 7 Comments »

 
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