Tennessee refuses to continue being a dumping ground for Muslim refugees, and has filed a federal lawsuit to protect its citizens.
On Monday, Tennessee sued the federal government, claiming its refugee resettlement program violates the 10th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which states that any powers not delegated to the federal government are reserved for the states.
Basically, Tennessee is saying the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force states to take in refugees, as had been occurring nationwide under the Obama administration.
The lawsuit says the federal government has unconstitutionally forced states to pay for the refugee resettlement program, which is a federal (not state) program, the Tennessean reported.
The plaintiffs are asking the court to stop federal government from resettling refugees in Tennessee until all the costs of the resettlement programs are covered by the federal government.
The lawsuit says that state money that should be used to help its own citizens is instead being funneled to help refugees.
“Operation of the federal refugee resettlement program commandeers Tennessee’s funds through Medicaid with the threatened loss of nearly $7 billion, amounting to 20% 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 states.
Catholic Charities resettled over 2,000 refugees in Tennessee in 2016. Lawmakers have expressed concerns about the lack of proper vetting amid worries that a terrorist could sneak into the country posing as a refugee.
The lawsuit was filed by the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan group that has championed conservative causes.
Meanwhile, leftist organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee slammed the lawsuit, saying its claims are nothing more than fear-mongering.
“It’s not only very troubling, but unjust and wrong,” said Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the Tennessee ACLU.
Tennessee Senator Mark Norris said the lawsuit is in line with President Trump‘s plan to reduce the number of refugees coming into the United States.
“We want to convey to the President that we support his efforts concerning immigration and refugee resettlement,” said Sen. Norris. “This suit for declaratory relief is consistent with what would likely be his position regarding states like Tennessee, which have withdrawn from the refugee resettlement program but are forced to continue paying costs associated with it.”
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