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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Aug 2006

    Tennessee Lawmakers Move to End Gov. Bill Lee’s Resettling More Refugees

    Tennessee Lawmakers Move to End Gov. Bill Lee’s Resettling More Refugees

    February 3, 2020

    John Binder


    A group of Tennessee lawmakers is moving forward with legislation to end Republican Governor Bill Lee’s authority over refugee resettlement across the state.

    For Fiscal Year 2020, President Donald Trump will continue cutting refugee admissions by reducing former President Barack Obama’s refugee inflow by at least 80 percent. This reduction would mean a maximum of 18,000 refugees can be resettled in the U.S. between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020. This is merely a numerical limit and not a goal federal officials are supposed to reach.

    Coupled with the refugee reduction, Trump signed an executive order that gives localities, counties, and states veto power over whether they want to resettle refugees in their communities. For now, a Clinton-appointed judge has blocked implementation of the executive order.

    Still, Tenessee lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to revoke Lee’s decision to continue resettling refugees across the state. State Rep. John Crawford (R) told local media that legislation is currently moving through the state House to ensure that the General Assembly has authority over whether the state resettles refugees and not the governor.

    The legislation comes as Breitbart News exclusively reported how multiple Tennessee counties were adopting resolutions to denounce Lee for his decision to keep resettling refugees.

    Thus far, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is the only governor in the country to request that refugee resettlement be halted in his state. Meanwhile, 42 governors have asked the State Department to resettle more refugees in their states — including these 19 Republican governors:

    • Bill Lee of Tennessee
    • Mike DeWine of Ohio
    • Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
    • Kim Reynolds of Iowa
    • Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
    • Gary Herbert of Utah
    • Doug Burgum of North Dakota
    • Chris Sununu of New Hampshire
    • Doug Ducey of Arizona
    • Eric Holcomb of Indiana
    • Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma
    • Pete Ricketts of Nebraska
    • Kristi Noem of South Dakota
    • Jim Justice of West Virginia
    • Mike Parson of Missouri
    • Brad Little of Idaho
    • Larry Hogan of Maryland
    • Mike Dunleavy of Alaska
    • Phil Scott of Vermont

    Since 2005, nearly 860,000 refugees have been resettled across the U.S. — a population that is more than 80 times the size of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Effectively, for the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 refugees have been resettled in the country, equivalent to adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the U.S. every year.

    Refugee resettlement costs American taxpayers nearly $9 billion every five years, according to the latest research. Over the course of five years, an estimated 16 percent of all refugees admitted will need housing assistance paid for by taxpayers.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 02-04-2020 at 02:41 AM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    House leadership introduces bill to undo Gov. Bill Lee's refugee resettlement decision, require future oversight

    February 3, 2020

    Joel Ebert

    Governor Lee announced Wednesday the state will continue to accept refugees, joining only a handful of Republican-led states. Nashville Tennessean

    House leadership's effort to undo Gov. Bill Lee's decision to allow refugees to continue to resettle in Tennessee is formally underway.

    On Tuesday, Rep. Ron Gant, R-Rossville, who serves as assistant majority leader, introduced a bill he says is backed by others in House leadership that would require the General Assembly to authorize decisions on refugee resettlement.

    Although the legislation as drafted is brief — it contains just three sentences — Gant's intent is clear: he wants to reverse Lee's refugee decision.

    "This act shall take effect upon becoming law," the legislation states. "It is the intent of the General Assembly that all applicable provisions be given retroactive application to actions taken by the governor prior to, on, or after that date."

    Gov. Bill Lee speaks to reporters during the MLK Day Convocation organized by the Interdenominational Ministers Fellowship at Tennessee State University Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Courtney Pedroza / The Tennessean )

    In December, the governor told the federal government Tennessee would continue to resettle refugees. Lee's move was quickly met with criticism from Republican lawmakers, including leadership in both chambers.

    The disagreement over refugees between the executive and legislative branches is arguably the most significant divide between the bodies since Lee took office in January 2019.
    Since December, Republicans have eyed ways to undo the governor's action or halt similar decisions in the future.

    Gant's bill, HB 1929, is one of a few measures introduced this session related to refugee resettlement.

    In December, Rep. Bruce Griffey, R-Paris, and Sen. Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald, introduced legislation, HB 1578 and SB 1567, that would halt all refugee resettlement in Tennessee.
    On Monday, Rep. Kelly Keisling, R-Byrdstown, introduced a bill, HB 1910, about quarterly reports provided to local governments regarding refugee resettlement.

    Rep. Chris Todd, R-Madison County, introduced his own legislation, HB 2016, on Wednesday that largely mirrors Gant's.

    Discussing his legislation, Gant said Wednesday the proposal is aimed at engaging discussions with Lee about the issue.

    "This is just to invoke the conversation with the governor," said Gant. "This is simply just respectfully asking the governor, let's hit the pause button, come before the General Assembly on anything we approve in the future."

    Although Gant is technically the only sponsor of the legislation, as of publication, he said others to back the effort include House Speaker Cameron Sexton, House Majority Leader William Lamberth, House GOP caucus chairman Jeremy Faison, Todd, who is also the assistant majority floor leader, and Sen. Mike Bell.

    A spokesman for Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said he does not plan to sign onto the bill.
    Gant said he met with Lee about the issue on Tuesday, and generally said the governor was respectful of the House's efforts while reiterating his own views.

    In early January, Lee passionately defended his decision, telling a group of Republicans they needed to understand the difference between legal refugee resettlement and illegal immigration.

    "(Lee) is going to consider supporting this and keep an open mind about it," said Gant.
    He said the focus of the legislation is about future decisions on refugee resettlement, despite including the retroactive language.

    The quarrel over refugee resettlement in Tennessee comes as a federal judge in Maryland halted President Donald Trump's executive order that allowed states to let state and local officials to make decisions.

    Gant said until Tennessee's lawsuit against the federal government over refugee resettlement is resolved, the issue will continue.

    "Until that lawsuit is settled, my bill is not doing anything to stop refugees from coming here," he said.

    The lawsuit, which has been rejected at various federal courts, argues that the federal government is forcing states to pay for resettlement costs, which violates the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

    The amendment says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states. Attorneys on behalf Tennessee's lawsuit, which was first filed in March 2017, plan on asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the case.

    Asked whether his legislation will be the main avenue for the GOP to push back against Lee's decision, Gant noted more than 50 Republicans, including Griffey, are backing his bill.

    The Associated Press contributed.

    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 02-04-2020 at 03:07 AM.
    Matthew 19:26
    But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016



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