Exclusive: Tennessee Counties Consider Rebuking Gov. Bill Lee’s Approval of More Refugee Resettlement

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About a third of Tennessee’s 95 counties, thus far, are considering rebuking Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s approval for the State Department to resettle more refugees in the state next year, Breitbart News has exclusively learned.

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.

Last week, Lee gave official approval to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to resettle more refugees in the state of Tennessee next year despite a high-profile Tenth Amendment lawsuit that questions the constitutionality of the refugee resettlement program.

Now, at least 31 counties in Tennessee are considering adopting a resolution that rebukes Lee’s approval for more refugees and demands that refugees not be resettled in non-consenting counties. The resolution contends that even if some counties do not consent to refugee resettlement, neighboring consenting counties will be allowed to resettle refugees in those non-consenting counties’ borders.

Breitbart News exclusively obtained the resolution, which reads:

BE IT RESOLVED that [County Name] does not want to be forced into participating in the federal refugee resettlement program due to either Governor Lee’s consent and/or being within the permissible placement radius of a resettlement agency office. [Emphasis added]

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [County Name] requests that Governor Lee retract his consent for initial resettlement in Tennessee for both the one year period of time as stated in his letter and/or the actual consent period required by the Funding Notice. [Emphasis added]

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [County Name] requests that in the event Governor Lee does not retract his consent for initial refugee resettlement, that [Lee] submit a revised letter of consent to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and to Lt. Governor Randy McNally and House Speaker Cameron Sexton exempting non-consenting counties from forced participation in the initial resettlement of refugees in Tennessee. [Emphasis added]

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [County Name] requests that Governor Lee by written notice inform the resettlement agencies which maintain offices and operations in Tennessee that they may not place arriving refugees in non-consenting counties. [Emphasis added]

Currently in Tennessee, refugee contractors — the non-government organizations that resettle refugees in the U.S. for the federal government — maintain offices in Davidson County, Shelby County, Hamilton County, and Knox County. This means that refugees could be resettled in neighboring counties even if they have not consented to admit refugees.

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).

In approving more refugee resettlement in his state, Lee joins a series of other Republican governors who have said they too will admit refugees, including Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Doug Burgum of North Dakota, Gary Herbert of Utah, Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas.

For months, organizations with ties to billionaire George Soros have carried out a pressure campaign on Republican governors, who have readily caved, to ask that refugees continue being resettled. The pro-mass immigration advocacy groups have falsely claimed that consent for refugee resettlement must be declared before late January.

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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