Refugee Resettlement Watch

Posts Tagged ‘States Rights’

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.

Screenshot (936)

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 »

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 20, 2016

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

When governors withdraw their state from the Refugee Admissions Program, that is not the end of it!

What am I doing you ask?  An expert on communication once told me that people have to hear the same message seven times before they get it.  I want readers to get this point!

governor-paul-lepage

Come on Governor LePage—do it! Sue!

Once a governor withdraws his/her state from the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program (RAP), a Constitutionally unsupportable program created out of whole cloth known as the Wilson-Fish program gives the director of the ORR the (supposed) authority to designate a NON-GOVERNMENTAL organization to run the program in the state.

Please visit the Office of Refugee Resettlement website, here, to learn more about it (see a list of all states that are W-F now).

Knowledge is power:

Then, see Michael Patrick Leahy’s (Breitbart) clear description of the history of the law/regulation known as the Wilson-Fish Alternative program by clicking here.  (That article, written almost a year ago, is available by googling. Are lawyers for governors withdrawing from the program so incompetent that they can’t  find that information?)

As governors withdraw there may be a brief period of disruption to the flow of refugees to the state (the new withdrawals are New Jersey, Kansas, Texas and now Maine), but the resettlement proceeds and services are supplied when a federally-funded non-profit resettlement contractor takes over.

Think about it!  The federal government and an unelected, unaccountable to any voters, non-profit group will be deciding how to spend local and state taxpayer dollars in this case, Maine!

gov-abbott

Texas Governor Greg Abbott—do it! Once Texas is designated a W-F state, file the Tenth Amendment case!

I continue to be stunned by how little lawyers for these governors know about the RAP and are apparently in the dark about what they are doing…..

Unless of course they do know and by withdrawing they are getting the monkey (you) off their backs, fooling those of you who want it stopped, and thus allowing the program to proceed claiming they can do nothing.

However, they can do something…..

If a governor withdraws, he must follow-up with a state’s rights lawsuit!

The state of Tennessee is proceeding to challenge the Constitutionality of the Wilson-Fish program, see hereThe real test for the governors who withdraw is if they will join the lawsuit!

Under present administration of the program, Maine resettlement will continue as the federal government will (illegally we believe) assign a replacement agency to administer it!

Now, here is the AP story about what the Governor of Maine has just done and what the feds will do in response (I bet Catholic Charities is chuckling behind closed doors!).  Will Governor LePage sue?

sam-brownback

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has a mixed record on refugees. Test: Will he join the Tennessee lawsuit?

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – Refugees will continue entering Maine despite Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s announcement that the state will no longer participate in a federally funded resettlement program.

So far this year, about 607 refugees were resettled in Maine, and more will arrive next year. Over the past decade, the state has worked with Catholic Charities of Maine to settle more than 3,400 refugees.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said its Office of Refugee Resettlement is working to appoint an interim agency that will administer earmarked federal funds, though a timeline is still uncertain.

That agency will likely be Catholic Charities. The federal government will later accept competitive bids for an agency that will take federal funds directly for refugee resettlement. [This whole process is built on no legal authority!—ed]

[….]

LePage wrote a Nov. 4 letter to Democratic President Barack Obama saying he no longer wants Maine associated with the federal refugee resettlement program, and he has also opposed the settlement of Syrian refugees in Maine “until adequate vetting procedures can be established.”

[….]

The governor said Maine communities are being burdened by this “unchecked influx of refugees” and “especially prevalent” welfare fraud within the refugee community. He did not provide data for such assertions.

[….]

Maine joins three other states – New Jersey, Kansas and Texas – that have recently opted out the federally funded refugee assistance program.

If you live in one of the so-called Wilson-Fish states you should be urging your governors to join the Tennessee case!

Endnote: I saw Kansas Governor Brownback’s name on a list of people Trump is interviewing.  I sure hope it isn’t for any position relating to immigration/refugees. See here in 2014 we reported that he signed on to a letter with Grover Norquist and other RINOs, including Jeb Bush, which urged the Republican Party to embrace more refugee resettlement.  Human Rights First loved it!

Posted in Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Article explains why Texas withdrawal from Refugee Program may benefit resettlement in state (in long run)

Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 10, 2016

For everyone getting excited about governors withdrawing from the Refugee Admissions Program, please take a breath.

The feds will simply pick a non-profit refugee contractor to run the program unless the governor takes the second step and that is, after being declared a Wilson-Fish state, he or she joins the Tennessee Tenth Amendment case prepared by the Thomas More Law Center.

miliband-and-soros-2

Former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband is CEO of the International Rescue Committee which looks like it is angling to be in charge of refugee resettlement in Texas now that the state government has pulled out. Here he is his pal George Soros. See our extensive archive on how this British subject is calling the shots about who will be resettled in many states in America. https://refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com/?s=David+Miliband (He is also best pals of Hillary Clinton. He must have had a great shock yesterday.)

Not too long about Kansas and New Jersey withdrew, but I  haven’t heard a peep out of Governors Brownback (KS) or Christie (NJ) that they would now seek to defend their state’s rights.

Here is a portion of the story about Texas from Vice magazine (emphasis is mine):

…Texas has resorted to withdrawal from the federal resettlement program—but the same number of refugees will continue to be resettled in Texas, according to Victoria Palmer, public affairs specialist for the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families. The difference is in the distribution of funds and services for those individuals and families. Currently, the State of Texas receives the funds to distribute to nonprofits, which distribute money to the refugees and offer support services. Now, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) will instead choose one or a few nonprofits to receive and distribute those funds.

“While we of course regret Texas’s decision, ORR is working to appoint designees to administer services to refugees in Texas,” Palmer told me. “ORR is working to prevent a disruption in the delivery of services and benefits to refugees and entrants in Texas.”

And the US Department of State, which screens refugees and works with ORR to distribute them, said Texas would continue to receive all groups of refugees, including Syrians.

“Applicants to the US Refugee Admissions Program are currently subject to the highest level of security checks of any category of traveler to the United States,” a State Department official told me in an emailed statement. “Syrian refugees are screened to an even higher level.”

Since Texas’s withdrawal can’t block resettlement, immigration experts told me the move was purely for show.

[….]

Lin and Palmer both told me that Texas would eventually operate resettlement through a model that 12 states already use, called the Wilson-Fish Program. Under that program, the federal government picks one or a few organizations to serve as long-term partners, distributing funds and services to nonprofits and to refugees throughout the state.

Palmer said ORR would soon make a request for “competitive bids” to serve as the distributors.

“The organizations chosen to be the main agency for the state will be more burdened, but these agencies have been doing this for a very long time,” Lin said.

Texas will be the largest state to use the alternative program—which Aaron Rippenkroeger, the CEO and president of Refugee Services Texas, said was cause for concern.

[….]

But Rubin of the IRC assured me that Texas’s withdrawal may even open the door to a better resettlement process.

More here.

Texas grassroots citizens concerned about refugee resettlement in the state must pressure the governor to take step #2 and sue! But, if you do this, you MUST make sure your Washington reps know what you are doing and how you feel—see calling on Texas (your members of Congress are in key positions to do something!). As I said yesterday, I think you would be stunned to find out how isolated your Washington reps are in their little Capitol Hill bubble.

Click here to learn more about Wilson-Fish states.

Posted in Changing the way we live, Colonization, Community destabilization, Muslim refugees, Refugee Resettlement Program, Taxpayer goodies, Who is going where | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Tennessee’s Tenth Amendment case against federal Refugee Admissions Program is moving ahead!

Posted by Ann Corcoran on October 25, 2016

Here is the breaking news from Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart:

The Tennessee General Assembly has selected the Thomas More Law Center to represent the state in its lawsuit against the federal government over the resettlement of refugees in the Volunteer State.

thomas-more-law

The Ann Arbor, Michigan based nonprofit public interest law firm made the announcement in a press statement released on Tuesday.

The Thomas More Law Center will represent the state free of charge in the “constitutional challenge to the federal government’s refugee resettlement program as a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”

Tennessee is one of twelve states that have withdrawn from the federal refugee resettlement program in which it is operated by the federal government under the statutorily-questionable Wilson Fish alternative program. Texas is the thirteenth state to withdrawn from the federal program, effective in January. Two additional states, Vermont and Massachusetts, allow the federal government to resettle refugees within their boundaries under the Wilson Fish alternative program, but have not withdrawn from the federal program.

Continue reading here.

This lawsuit is available for only those so-called Wilson Fish states (feds and a non-profit contractor call the shots on resettlement bypassing the state legislature) that have withdrawn from the federal program.  As mentioned above, Texas is the most recent one to do so.  Within the last year Kansas and New Jersey have withdrawn as well, so they don’t yet appear on this outdated ORR list.

So what should you do—tell your state to withdraw and then have the governor sign up as a plaintiff with the Thomas More Law Center!

But, don’t forget to pressure your member of Congress to DEFUND the program in the lame duck session of Congress next month.  This lawsuit is going to take a little while to work its way through the system and in the meantime (if Trump isn’t elected) we could have another quarter of a million refugees spread out across 49 states (assuming Wyoming continues to hold out!) by the time a legal judgement and the appeals process has been exhausted.

Here are the Wilson Fish states.  By the way, there is one county on the list (San Diego County) so this could mean a county could withdraw and join the lawsuit.  I’m not a lawyer, but I can’t see why that wouldn’t work!

Alabama
Alaska
Colorado
Idaho
Kentucky
Louisiana
Massachusetts
Nevada
North Dakota
South Dakota
Tennessee
Vermont

And then New Jersey, Kansas and Texas have joined the list.

Come on Governors Abbott (TX), Brownback (KS) and Christie (NJ) show some fight!

Posted in Pockets of Resistance, Reforms needed, Refugee Resettlement Program | Tagged: , | 12 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!

jan-reeves-holly-johnson

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 »

 
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