GOP Governor Bill Lee Approves More Refugee Resettlement in Tennessee

Refugee Resettlement
KHALIL MAZRAAWI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Republican Gov. Bill Lee has approved resettlement of more refugees in Tennessee for 2020, putting in jeopardy a high-profile lawsuit to stop refugee resettlement in 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.

On Wednesday, Lee sent a letter to the State Department where he said Tennessee would continue admitting refugees in the new year, caving to a lobbying effort by refugee contractors and pro-mass immigration groups with ties to billionaire George Soros.

“It’s about money,” Ann Corcoran, who blogs on the issue for Refugee Resettlement Watch told Breitbart News. “It’s all about money — money for these contractors, money for these global corporations and then they hide under this humanitarian hat and claim it’s all about doing good.”

“In actuality, you’ve got big business and the Chamber of Commerce pushing for more refugees because refugees need housing, they need used cars, they are consumers.”

Refugee contractors have a vested interest in making sure as many refugees are resettled across the U.S. as possible because their annual federally-funded budgets are contingent on the number of refugees they resettle.

Those refugee contractors, who have a full monopoly on the refugee resettlement program, include:

Church World Service (CWS), Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), International Rescue Committee (IRC), U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS), U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and World Relief Corporation (WR).

Corcoran said Lee was elected by conservatives in Tennessee who “thought he was going to stick [with] them on the refugee resettlement issue.”

At jeopardy is Tennessee’s high-profile lawsuit that questions the constitutionality of the refugee resettlement program and its forcing of new arrivals on states and local communities who previously had no say in the issue.

Lee joins another 10 governors around the U.S. — including Republican Governors Doug Ducey of Arizona, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, and Gary Herbert of Utah — who have asked the State Department to resettle more refugees in their towns and cities.

The federally mandated refugee resettlement program has brought more than 718,000 refugees to the U.S. since January 2008 — a group larger than the entire state population of Wyoming, which has 577,000 residents. In the last decade, about 73,000 refugees have been resettled in California, 71,500 resettled in Texas, nearly 43,000 resettled in New York, and more than 36,000 resettled in Michigan.

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.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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