[Rushtalk] You'll Take 'Em And Like It!
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
*Judge To Tennessee: You’ll Take Refugees Whether You Want To Or
/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
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
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
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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