Tennessee Lawmakers Move to End Gov. Bill Lee’s Resettling More Refugees

Refugee Resettlement
Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

A group of Tennessee lawmakers is moving forward with legislation to end Republican Governor Bill Lee’s authority over refugee resettlement across 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. For now, a Clinton-appointed judge has blocked implementation of the executive order.

Still, Tenessee lawmakers are moving forward with a plan to revoke Lee’s decision to continue resettling refugees across the state. State Rep. John Crawford (R) told local media that legislation is currently moving through the state House to ensure that the General Assembly has authority over whether the state resettles refugees and not the governor.

The legislation comes as Breitbart News exclusively reported how multiple Tennessee counties were adopting resolutions to denounce Lee for his decision to keep resettling refugees.

Thus far, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is the only governor in the country to request that refugee resettlement be halted in his state. Meanwhile, 42 governors have asked the State Department to resettle more refugees in their states — including these 19 Republican governors:

  • 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

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

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