Tennessee sues federal government over forced refugee ‘resettlement’

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Obama administration’s dumping of overwhelmingly Muslim “refugees” on states and in so doing, forcing the states to incur financial costs to support the “refugees,” is a contravention of the 10th Amendment. Now, the State of Tennessee is finally doing something about it.

Joel Ebert reports for The Tennessean that yesterday morning, March 13, 2017, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Other states have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement but on different legal grounds.

The defendants named in the lawsuit include the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The 15-page lawsuit:

  • Contends that the federal government has unduly forced states to pay for the refugee resettlement program, and is 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.
  • Maintains that the federal government’s forced resettlement of refugees in Tennessee has led the plaintiffs to “suffer significant and irreparable harm unless this Court intervenes”.
  • 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.

The lawsuit also points out that although Tennessee has opted out of the federal refugee resettlement program, the federal government continues to send refugees to Tennessee, and appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee to administer the program. The refugees forced upon Tennessee requires the state to fund the resettlement with $7 billion from Medicaid, “amounting to 20 percent of its overall state budget — money that is needed to fund services that are critical to the health and welfare of countless Tennesseans.”

The lawsuit was filed by the valiant Thomas More Law Center, a Catholic legal group that has taken on several conservative legal causes in recent years, on behalf of two state lawmakers in the western district of Tennessee: Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster.

State Sen. John Stevens said in a news release:

“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.”

The state lawmakers filed the lawsuit after Tennessee’s House of Representatives, in April 2016, by a vote of 69-25 approved a resolution directing Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to sue the feds. In July, however, Slatery indicated he would not follow the Tennessee legislature’s directive to sue the federal government, but he will not stand in the way of hiring an outside firm to initiate the lawsuit.

The usual groups — American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition — have attacked the lawsuit, saying it will negatively affect the state’s refugee community and perpetuate a culture of fear.

Holly Johnson, refugee coordinator for Catholic Charities in Tennessee, disputes the lawsuit’s claim that the state incurs special costs to resettle refugees “because they’re refugees.” Claiming that refugees aren’t “eligible for anything that you and I aren’t eligible for,” Johnson disingenuously argues that:

  • Only if a refugee meets the already existing eligibility requirements for TennCare, then the state may pay that benefit.
  • Or if refugee children need to go to school, the state pays the same for the child’s attendance as anyone else at the school.
  • Any benefits related to employment are paid for by the federal government.

Johnson has a snake tongue. Of course, refugees don’t get benefits BECAUSE they’re refugees. But the fact of the matter is that refugees who require welfare and schooling cost Tennessee additional expenses of at least $7 billion in Medicaid — $7 billion that Tennessee would not spend if the federal government had not unilaterally dumped the refugees into the state.

Johnson also managed to omit the fact that Catholic Charities is paid handsomely by the federal government, i.e., taxpayers, to “resettle” refugees. During the 2016 fiscal year, Catholic Charities “resettled” more than 2,000 refugees in Tennessee, the majority of whom came from countries not included on President Trump’s new travel ban.

See also:



14 responses to “Tennessee sues federal government over forced refugee ‘resettlement’

  1. Just another un-funded mandate from the feds to the states ….. It has to stop somewhere , this might be the perfect battleground to fight this fight .
    Just a thought ..

    Liked by 4 people

    • japoa . . . I’m with you 100%. The fact that the Feds send “needy” people to a state, knowing that they may never be self sustaining . . . creates the situation that the citizens of Tenn are getting their pockets picked. Then you have the situation that long time residents of Tenn may well get to forgo medical help so that foreigners can get it. This is just a travesty. My prayers are with the State of Tennessee, that they may prevail in this suit.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. I think it’s fair to ask why “…after Tennessee’s House of Representatives, in April 2016, by a vote of 69-25 approved a resolution directing Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to sue the feds… Slatery indicated he would not… but he will not stand in the way of hiring an outside firm to initiate the lawsuit.”

    So: he refuses to do as ordered, but expects to –and does!– remain in office, no doubt collecting a swollen salary for doing nothing. And we wonder what’s wrong w/the system and our politicos! What’s wrong with We the people for allowing this rot to become the new norm?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joseph . . . you are so right. Why any state employee can refuse to do something he’s told to do . . . should mandate a pink slip being issued to him.
      Another thing that really bothers me is that these various “religious charities” are raking in a real hall” for doing something that the majority of citizens are against. I am wondering if they have to pay taxes on these monies, or they get to keep 100% because they are a religious organization??????

      Liked by 2 people

  3. The obvious and easy solution to the “refugee” problem is to settle them only in states that are fighting Trump’s immigration ban.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This just makes my blood boil. Even if Tennessee were to get reimbursed, what about the consequences of having a bunch of lunatic Muslims in your community – Muslims that will continue to have 7 babies that the taxpayer have to pay for and will end up 10 years from now demanding that we all have to obey Sharia ? No thanks get them out of here.

    Liked by 3 people

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


    Related link –

    Why 12 States Hold Key to Constitutional Challenge to Refugee Resettlement Program


    Liked by 2 people

  6. GO TENNESSEE! The Volunteer State! Hope you can save us….b/c many States…including my own State of residence (CA) will NOT step up to save our Union or EVEN save our own State:

    This has happened in many forms all over our country—including here where I live.

    We witnessed the Obama technique of trying to “DUMP” so-called refugees on small (thus insignificant, non-newsworthy) towns in CA. The citizens of Temecula, CA, came out to turn the “refugee” buses back on a major interstate. (My husband & I later found out by accident, taking the “back road” to the Temecula WalMart…that they were being dumped off on this back country road, and guarded by miliatry weaponry…and WE were turned back off of a public ROAD FOR NO LEGAL REASON BY A US MILITIA so as not to “encounter ” this….BUT—-too late.! We saw what we saw…and government weaponry was pointed at us on a public county road in CA in the USA…and we were denied passage, and turned back/threateningly …while these illegals were dumped off—where they had been denied days before on the major interstate.) This small community had NO resources to take care of these people…not even jail cells/hospital personel that could hold maybe 10/or screen more than half of them….we have NO local funds to take care of such “disasters,” & no major community centers to house these hundreds of “refugees” compared to the 120 or more to be dumped upon them….not even enough churches to pitch in and help…..truly “Mayberry RFD.” This happened over and over again in Nebraska, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts….a studied attempt to overwhelm rural communities who could not respond (by Obama…I WANT TO KNOW who helped plan this? Send the “refugees” out to “podunk” & no one will care or be able to respond?—Probably that SAME MIT guy who helped plan Obamacare & laughed about it b/c of the “stupid” general “Amerian populace.” upon whom it was “easy” to put it over on….) to spread undocumented illegals who had crossed the southern border, labeled by Obama as “refugees,” but whom were just clearly and plainly, illegal border crossers from Central America. Mexico turned A BLIND EYE to them as they passed through…b/c it suited/complied with THEIR restrictive “immigration” laws…but they had NO CARE for OUR laws as a neighbor/ally/econonic partner…& so, they sent them through, barreling on at thousands a day……And then, Obama attempted to pass them off as mostly “unaccompanied minors.”

    Bull. Some of them were minors…but very few..and, those were mostly accompanied by a mother most of the time. The majority of those young, “unaccompanied minors” ended up being upwards of 30 years old…….Believe me….have you heard in the news anywhere since then or recently about “the plight of the unacompanied minors from South of the border? Were there foster care homes set up by the thousands? Were there adoption programs set up? There are more pet adoption and rescue operations for animals online, in public, in the paper, in ANY media…than I ever heard of (I’ve heard of ZERO) for the “unaccompanied minors” of the great Obama implosion at our Southern border…..


  7. No Comment from DOJ on Tennessee Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of Refugee Resettlement Program


    “According to the Breitbart link, several of the TN jokers bringing suit against the Federal Government are themselves Obama appointees, who can be fired.”


    “So fire them!

    With the cabinet finally nearing completion, we need a day of bureaucratic bloodletting. Every Obama appointee that can be fired, should be fired. Let some junior bureaucrat act in their place. If they get out of line, fire them or get a good appointee in pronto.

    Make a point of causing expensive bureaucratic and financial headaches for any sanctuary entity.

    I’d bet a lot of the appointments could stay vacant or be eliminated. These people are career bureaucratic parasites.”

    Source link –



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