Exclusive: 8 More Tennessee Counties to Rebuke Gov. Bill Lee’s Refugee Inflow

FILE - In this April 25, 2019 file photo, Republican Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee talks to reporters at the Capitol in Nashville, Tenn. More than half of Lee’s newly appointed cabinet members, including his education czar and Tennessee’s Medicaid chief, didn’t submit applications or provide any documents outlining why they …
AP Photo/Kimberlee Kruesi, File

At least eight additional counties across Tennessee are ready to rebuke Gov. Bill Lee’s decision to bring more refugees to the state, Breitbart News has 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.

After immense backlash from state legislators and voters, insiders told Breitbart News that now another eight counties are considering a resolution that Loudon County recently adopted, which rebukes the governor’s decision to allow more refugees and bans resettlement in the region.

Breitbart News was the first to report that activists and Tennessee county officials had drafted the resolution against Lee’s decision.

The eight counties also weighing whether to ban resettlement and rebuke Lee’s refugee inflow include:

  • Wilson County
  • Cumberland County
  • Cannon County
  • Smith County
  • Macon County
  • Tipton County
  • Monroe County
  • Stewart County

Wilson County, located just outside of Nashville, will vote January 27 on the resolution to ensure no refugees are resettlement in the area.

“The resolution is a record saying ‘Bill Lee, this is what this county does not want to do. This is our nonconsent saying we do not want refugees in our county right now. We’re letting you know that we do not consent,'” an insider told Breitbart News.

State legislators were “blindsided,” according to the insider, when Lee announced that he would allow refugee contractors on behalf of the State Department to resettle more refugees in the state for fiscal year 2020.

Lee is one of 19 Republican governors who have asked the State Department to resettle refugees in their states. Thus far, the only Republican governor to halt refugee resettlement to his state is Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas. Republican governors asking for more refugees include:

  • Bill Lee of Tennessee
  • Mike DeWine of Ohio
  • Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas
  • Kim Reynolds of Iowa
  • Charlie Baker of Massachusetts
  • Gary Herbert of Utah
  • Doug Burgum of North Dakota
  • Chris Sununu of New Hampshire
  • Doug Ducey of Arizona
  • Eric Holcomb of Indiana
  • Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma
  • Pete Ricketts of Nebraska
  • Kristi Noem of South Dakota
  • Jim Justice of West Virginia
  • Mike Parson of Missouri
  • Brad Little of Idaho
  • Larry Hogan of Maryland
  • Mike Dunleavy of Alaska
  • Phil Scott of Vermont

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).

Since 2005, nearly 860,000 refugees have been resettled across the U.S. — a population that is more than 80 times the size of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Effectively, for the last 15 years, nearly 60,000 refugees have been resettled in the country, equivalent to adding the population of Pensacola, Florida, to the U.S. every year.

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


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.