[Rushtalk] You'll Take 'Em And Like It!

John Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Thu Apr 5 08:51:24 MDT 2018

/*There ought to be immediate impeachment for judges who go against both 
the written law and public opinion: */


ACT For America

  Refugee Resettlement Reaches Boiling Point in Tennessee

      The refugee resettlement crisis has reached a boiling point in the
      United States. Public opinion polls
      back to 2015 have shown that the majority of Americans/do not/want
      to risk their safety in favor of refugee resettlement programs.
      Unfortunately, federal government programs have been implemented
      to force states to pay for resettlement, regardless of whether
      they participate in the federal program or not.

      Now, more than ever, it is important for us to organize a unified
      front in defense of our freedom, values, and security. Join us at
      our 10th annual national conference to receive first-class
      activism trainings that will give you the tools you need to enact
      change in your community. Click here
      more information.

    *Judge To Tennessee: You’ll Take Refugees Whether You Want To Or

      /The Federalist/

      /Author: James Simpson

      /Many aspects of the refugee resettlement program force states and
      local governments to continue to accept refugees even if they
      choose not to participate./

      Last March, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) initiated a lawsuit
      against the federal government on behalf of the Tennessee
      legislature, charging the refugee resettlement program imposes
      *unconstitutional unfunded mandates, requiring states to pay for
      resettlement whether they participate in the federal program or
      not.* For a year, the sides engaged in legal maneuvers while the
      judge dawdled.

      This March, despite multiple Supreme Court rulings that the
      federal government cannot compel states to pay for unfunded
      federal mandates, the judge dismissed the case. He claimed the
      state of Tennessee, while fully responsible for financing the
      state’s share of resettlement program costs, did not have standing
      to bring the suit.

      Many aspects of the refugee resettlement program force states and
      local governments to continue to accept refugees even if they
      choose not to participate in the program, and pay for a laundry
      list of services to those refugees once resettled. The lawsuit
      focused specifically on the requirement for the state to pay
      exorbitant Medicaid costs or risk losing up to $7 billion in
      federal Medicaid reimbursements, an amount equal to 20 percent of
      the entire state budget.

      In his 43-page decision, the judge ruled that, according to
      Tennessee law, only the Tennessee attorney general had the
      authority to sue, but would not have standing anyway because the
      state had not first attempted to gain relief through an
      administrative appeal directly to the federal government.
      (Tennessee’s attorney general and governor had declined to back
      the suit.) Thus the state would be put in the impossible position
      of having to first lose some or all of that $7 billion before it
      could sue.

      The case demonstrates how convoluted the refugee resettlement
      program is, and despite the enormous burdens it places on state
      and local taxpayers, has remained resistant to successful challenge.

      *Sticking It to Tennessee for Obeying the Law*

      The day after the decision, the Center for Immigration Studies
      held a discussion at the National Press Club, “Should States Be
      Able to Opt Out of the Refugee Resettlement Program?” In
      attendance were CIS Executive Director Mark Krikorian, CIS refugee
      resettlement expert Don Barnett, TMLC President Richard Thompson,
      and St. Cloud, Minnesota, City Councilman Jeff Johnson.

      Remarking on the ruling, Thompson stated, “The judge basically
      backed off because it was too controversial and ruled on the basis
      of standing of the legislature to bring the lawsuit, and standing
      of some very courageous individual legislators who put their name
      in the lawsuit as well.”

      “It reminds me of the tale of two legislatures,” he said. “On the
      one hand, you have the General Assembly of Tennessee taking a
      strong stand, believing that the government is wrong, and yet not
      violating the rule that the government has set. They go into court
      through the due-process aspects of the case and make a case that
      this government is violating the Tenth Amendment and the Spending
      Clause. On the other hand, you have the tale of a California
      legislature who says I don’t give a d-mn what the federal
      government says and they go ahead and violate whatever rules that
      they feel that they can get away with.”

      Thompson said he believed the decision had numerous holes, and if
      the plaintiffs were willing, he would appeal, as far as the
      Supreme Court if necessary.

      *Refugee Resettlement Affects Communities*

      The panel focused on the lawsuit and an excellent analysis of the
      issue published in January by Don Barnett. Barnett noted, “When
      the Obama administration raised the refugee admission quota for
      fiscal year 2017 to 110,000 – a really great raise over his
      average. His average is probably about 75,000 a year. So it was
      raised to 110,000 on the way out. New Jersey, Maine, Kansas, and
      Texas formally withdrew from the program. Actually, however, this
      is a program that states can never leave.”

      Johnson has seen refugee resettlement problems played out in his
      community up close. With a rapidly expanding Somali refugee
      population, St. Cloud is beset with a crime rate 92 percent higher
      than the state average, the prospect of terrorism (last September
      a Somali Muslim refugee stabbed 10 people at the local mall before
      being shot and killed by an off-duty policeman), and cultural clashes.

      Johnson gained notoriety last October when he proposed a
      resolution declaring a moratorium on refugee resettlement to St.
      Cloud. Despite strong support from city residents, the council
      overwhelmingly rejected Johnson’s proposal.

      *Don’t Want to Run a Refugee Program? Tough*

      The 1980 Refugee Act created the U.S. Refugee Assistance Program,
      which uses private, tax-exempt organizations called “voluntary
      agencies” or “VOLAGs,” and a network of subsidiaries, called
      “affiliates,” to resettle refugees within the United States. These
      organizations are paid by the head to resettle refugees. The act
      requires consultation with state and local governments before
      refugees can be resettled, and allows states to opt out of the
      program altogether.

      The act also promised to cover the state portion of federal
      welfare program costs for refugees for three years. This was an
      important factor in passing the act because refugees use welfare
      at rates much higher that of U.S. citizens or even other immigrant

      Recent court decisions in Texas and Alabama have questionably
      declared the “consultation” provision advisory only. VOLAGs
      largely ignore it anyway. Furthermore, by 1991 the federal
      government had stopped providing reimbursement to states for the
      state share of refugee welfare costs.

      Finally, in 1995, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the
      Department of Health and Human Services created a regulation (45
      CFR 400.301) allowing VOLAGs to take over the role of state
      governments in refugee resettlement when those states choose to
      drop out of the program.

      States that opt out become known as “Wilson-Fish“ states, named
      after a 1984 refugee law proposed by Reps. Pete Wilson and
      Hamilton Fish that suggested alternative ways for refugees to
      receive welfare. The regulation, however, is not based on the
      actual law. ORR essentially invented it to continue
      taxpayer-funded resettlement in states that no longer willingly

      *When States Aren’t In Charge, the Numbers Spike*

      VOLAGs receive anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for each refugee
      they resettle, so they seek to maximize refugee numbers, and find
      it much easier to place more in states with no oversight. The
      numbers make the case.

      Between fiscal year 2002 (the earliest state-by-state data
      available) and fiscal year 2017, Alabama, Alaska, Kansas,
      Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee, and
      Texas dropped out. Of these, five have been run by VOLAGs long
      enough to compare resettlement data before the state left the
      program and after. The table below shows the results.

      Note that even in just the first year, refugee resettlement in
      those states shot up an average of more than 50 percent. In total,
      these states have seen an average annual increase of 127 percent
      since they relinquished program oversight.

      As a result of all these factors, the refugee resettlement program
      has evolved into a largely unfunded mandate on states, and
      especially in Wilson-Fish states. The TMLC complaint specifically

      Defendants have exceeded and, absent relief from this Court, will
      continue to exceed the powers granted to the federal government
      under the Spending Clause of the United States Constitution as
      well as the limits imposed upon the federal government by the
      Tenth Amendment, thereby infringing upon the
      constitutionally-protected sovereignty and powers of the State of

      Defendants included the U.S. Departments of State and Heath and
      Human Services, their respective refugee resettlement offices and
      leadership, including former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and
      HHS Secretary Tom Price. The government, under newly appointed
      Attorney General Jeff Sessions, filed for dismissal. Perhaps
      Sessions was overwhelmed in his new job and poorly served by those
      underneath him, but this was one opportunity to rein in the
      out-of-control refugee program.

      The House Judiciary Committee under Bob Goodlatte introduced the
      Refugee Program Integrity Restoration Act (H.R. 2826), last June.
      Among other things, it assures that states that leave the program
      will not get more refugees against their will. The bill has
      languished in committee.

      But there is a much easier way to accomplish the same goal. That
      would simply be to rescind regulation 45 CFR 400.301. The
      administration could do this today, giving Wilson-Fish states an
      immediate break. Then the lawsuit could continue its long march
      through the courts on appeal until it reaches a sane jurist. It
      would then be immediately declared unconstitutional, and that
      would be the end of the story.



ACT for America · 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 190, #614, Washington, 
DC 20004, United States

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