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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Breaking: Tennessee Groups Take Legal Action Against Efforts to Block Refugee

    Tennessee Groups Take Legal Action Against Efforts to Block Refugee Resettlement

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    JUNE 2, 2017

    JACKSON, Tenn. — Groups serving Tennessee refugees are taking legal action against the state legislature’s efforts to block refugee resettlement.

    State lawmakers who oppose refugee resettlement sued the federal government in March, contending that the federal refugee resettlement program improperly impinges on state sovereignty. The Tennessee attorney general previously declined to file the suit, concluding it would likely lose in court.

    The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Tennessee represent the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Bridge Refugee Services Inc., and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment, which are seeking to intervene in the case to defend refugee resettlement in Tennessee. The groups also filed legal arguments explaining why the General Assembly’s lawsuit should be thrown out.

    The following are quotes from:

    Stephanie Teatro, Co-Executive Director, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition:

    “For too many years, the Tennessee legislature has put our state at the forefront of the anti-refugee movement, seeking to erode support for the resettlement program for political gain. This extreme lawsuit is a betrayal of our state’s values, and if successful, would cause real harm to our refugee members who already call Tennessee home and to their family members abroad who can’t wait to be resettled here and reunited with their loved ones. We are so proud to represent our many members across the state in defense of the life-saving work of refugee resettlement, to stand up for our values as Tennesseans, and to ensure that Tennessee continues to be a place where families fleeing violence and persecution can find safety and opportunity.”


    Hedy Weinberg, Executive Director, ACLU of Tennessee:

    “By insisting on filing a fear-driven and dangerous lawsuit that targets vulnerable families and selecting a legal group known for its radical anti-Muslim ideology to represent the General Assembly, Tennessee legislators have laid their cards on the table. The actions of these politicians betray the values of fair treatment, equality, and compassion that Tennesseans embrace. We are intervening in this lawsuit to resist this cruel attempt to stop the resettlement of refugees in Tennessee — which is fueled by discrimination and animus toward Muslims that extends to the White House. The majority of Tennesseans believe in helping those fleeing violence and terror to protect their families. With our partners, the ACLU is committed to making clear that these kinds of malicious attacks on our Muslim neighbors have no place in Tennessee.”


    Susan Speraw, Chair, Board of Directors, Bridge Refugee Services Inc.:

    “The people of Tennessee have welcomed refugees as their neighbors and friends, hired refugees and valued their work, patronized businesses started by refugee entrepreneurs, and celebrated with refugees who have become citizens. We are seeking to intervene in this lawsuit because we believe that resettlement is more than a job — as human beings, it is our obligation to protect the dignity of all and mitigate the suffering of vulnerable people.”


    Dov Hirsch, Chair, Board of Directors, Nashville International Center for Empowerment:

    “Refugee support services are critical to building and enriching Nashville’s inclusive climate — creating prosperous businesses, organizations, institutions, and communities. The Nashville International Center for Empowerment has delivered vital support to immigrants and refugees in Middle Tennessee for more than a decade. This suit, if successful, would effectively eliminate our ability to assist the most vulnerable populations of newly arrived refugees, and would weaken our thriving community.”

    The legal documents are here:


    http://www.aclu-tn.org/wp-content/up...e_Redacted.pdf


    http://www.aclu-tn.org/wp-content/up...Redacted-1.pdf



    http://www.tnimmigrant.org/blog/were...ettlement.html
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-02-2017 at 09:05 PM.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  2. #2
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    TIRRC @tnimmigrant


    The state sued to end refugee resettlement. Now we're taking legal action to defend the program #RefugeesWelcome (link: http://bit.ly/2rkEFX0) bit.ly/2rkE









    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  3. #3
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Refugee Groups Want Suit Over Resettlement Program Dismissed

    Several Tennessee-based refugee rights' organizations have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit the state Legislature filed over the refugee resettlement program

    June 2, 2017


    By SHEILA BURKE, Associated Press

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Several Tennessee-based refugee rights' organizations asked a federal judge on Friday to dismiss a lawsuit the state Legislature filed over the refugee resettlement program.

    The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, Bridge Refugee Services and Nashville International Center for Empowerment also asked to intervene in the suit the state General Assembly filed against the federal government in March.

    In asking to get involved, the groups argued they didn't trust the federal government to represent their interests. The court filings noted that President Donald Trump has expressed an intention that states decide if they accept refugees.

    They also noted that Trump signed an executive order in March that temporary suspended admission of refugees to the U.S. The president's order, which also banned visitors from six mostly Muslim countries, has been blocked by the courts.


    But the organizations argued that it's not just the president who holds anti-refugee views.

    "Prior actions by several high level members of the administration, some of whom are involved in this litigation, express a similar policy preference," the court documents say.

    The legal paperwork specifically notes that Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price co-sponsored legislation when he was a member of Congress that would have allowed states to block refugee resettlement programs.

    It mentioned that Vice President Mike Pence, as governor of Indiana, had tried to prevent Syrian refugees from settling in the state. "And Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose Department of Justice is responsible for defending this suit, was a noted opponent of the refugee resettlement program while he was a senator," the filing said.




    The lawsuit that members of the Republican-dominated Tennessee General Assembly filed against the federal government had argued that the refugee program should be shut down because it is forcing the state to spend money on additional services, such as health care and education.

    State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III declined to file the lawsuit on behalf of lawmakers, so the suit was filed by the Thomas More law firm for free. Gov. Bill Haslam last year refused to sign a resolution that passed in the Legislature demanding the lawsuit.

    In asking that the case be dismissed, the organizations argued that only the state attorney general has the right to sue on behalf of the state. They also said that if the state takes Medicaid money it can't pick and choose who gets it if they qualify for the health program for the poor.


    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-02-2017 at 10:13 PM.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  4. #4
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Related:


    Federal Government Asks for Dismissal of Tennessee Refugee Lawsuit

    https://www.alipac.us/f9/federal-gov...awsuit-347576/
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 06-02-2017 at 10:32 PM.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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