Tennessee appeals earlier dismissal of States' Rights Refugee case

The only state in the nation to attempt to get some control back for the state when the federal government sends them refugees is appealing an earlier decision by a judge to dismiss the case.
This is the latest from the Tennessean:

Tennessee is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit against the federal government over refugee resettlement.

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The Thomas More Law Center, which is representing the state in the case, filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Thursday.  

The case comes after state lawmakers approved a resolution in 2016 ordering the lawsuit.

Teatro
Stephanie Teatro, co-executive director of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, said the state’s appeal will “continue dragging our state’s reputation through the mud.”

In the case, Tennessee alleged the federal government violated the 10th Amendment, which says the federal government only possesses the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.

When the lawsuit was filed in March 2017, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to sue the federal government on the matter using such grounds.

Tennessee argued that the federal government was not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, which was designed to create a permanent procedure for the admission of refugees into the United States.

Lawmakers have previously said the lawsuit is necessary to halt all refugee resettlement to the state until all associated costs are paid by the federal government.

Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition have frequently slammed the lawsuit, saying it will negatively affect the state’s refugee community and perpetuate a culture of fear.

More here.
See the statement from the Thomas More Law Center by clicking here.
See all of my posts on Tennessee/Tenth Amendment.
And, learn more about the problems with refugees in Tennessee at my huge Tennessee archive here.  You will find a lot of meatpacker stories among those posts.
 

Tennessee: World Relief accused of not taking care of their refugees

When refugees were initially being placed in the county where I live (now more than 10 years ago), our community’s first impression was that the ‘Christian’ resettlement agency—the Virginia Council of Churches—was basically dropping off a couple hundred refugees, placing them in deplorable housing, and then not providing them with some of their basic needs.
I wanted to know what sort of program was this.  Did the government allow this? But, of course as we know now, nine major federal resettlement contractors (including World Relief)*** are federal government contractors who oversee a network of over 300 subcontractors.  The nine sign agreements with the US State Department laying out what services they will provide refugees in their care. Indeed the contractor is paid by the head for each refugee it is assigned.
Over the years, we have reported on many cases like this one being made in Tennessee that the contractor is not fulfilling its end of the bargain.
From The Tennessee Star:

During the March “Murfreesboro Muslim Youth” (MMY) meeting soliciting help for refugees brought to Rutherford County by federal resettlement contractor World Relief, it was disclosed that goods and services that the government paid for were not provided to the new refugees.

Abdou Kattih has been an outspoken critic of efforts by the legislature to keep Shariah law out of TN and to rein-in the refugee industry in the state. http://www.dnj.com/story/news/politics/2016/01/20/legislative-proposals-prompt-muslim-community-efforts/78809062/

According to Abdou Kattih, founder and president of MMY, were it not for his organization, special emergency needs such as getting medical care for the refugee who arrived with a broken jaw or simply providing household essentials and even clothing, would not have been addressed, explaining they had taken care of “someone that does not have literally anything but the clothes they had off of last month.”

Melissa Sohrabi, who merged her group “Roots for Refugees” with MMY, was more direct in detailing the deficiencies of the government contractor in this talk she delivered in March:

“There is an expectation of what should happen and there’s reality of what really does happen. . . Why didn’t World Relief give them a table and chairs? Why didn’t they bring them a couch? What’s going on? . . . Not only did it not happen but if it did happen, those families are charged for every belonging, every item that is donated to World Relief, the family is then charged for, for having it delivered to them.”

World Relief (WR), based in Baltimore, is one of nine national refugee resettlement organizations that sign a “Cooperative Agreement” with the U.S. State Department to receive federal funding to resettle refugees. This is taxpayer money allocated for each refugee brought to a community; the funds are split between the refugee and the agency. In addition, the resettlement agency is required to provide the goods and services as detailed in the signed agreement.

Between fiscal years 2016 -17, WR was paid over $40 million by the federal government to resettle refugees in communities where they operate local offices which also receive federal funding through grants administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Continue reading here.
One of several things that came to mind when I read this, is something I have been wondering about for some time.  Five of the nine resettlement contractors are ‘Christian charities’, one is Jewish and three are secular.
They all eagerly resettle Muslim refugees, but I have wondered when will some Muslim charity demand to get in on the federal gravy train? Laying the groundwork in this story?
***Here are the nine federal contractors that monopolize the US Refugee Admissions Program:

 

Trump may increase funding for refugees in FY18 budget…..

….but before you panic, as I did when I read Breitbart’s headline (‘Trump Budget Includes ‘Significant Funding of . . . Refugee Program’), some of the funding proposal likely involves humanitarian help abroad and development of the ‘safe zones’ (abroad!) concept.

President Donald Trump salutes after laying a wreath at the Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson, to commemorate Jackson’s 250th birthday, Wednesday, March 15, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Here is Michael Patrick Leahy with an inside look at Trump Administration funding plans:

The blueprint for the Trump administration’s FY 2018 budget released on Thursday “allows for significant funding of humanitarian assistance, including food aid, disaster, and refugee program funding” in the State Department.

“This would focus funding on the highest priority areas while asking the rest of the world to pay their fair share,” the blueprint states.

“Taken together with the executive order, it looks like the president will keep the refugee program with a lower annual number, like the 50,000 limit specified in Executive Order 13780, and when the annual determination is released, identify countries of concern in a way that excludes Somalia, and other countries of concern that are known to harbor terrorists,” a source familiar with the federal refugee resettlement program tells Breitbart News.

[….]

“As long as he keeps the refugee program going, we are going to get more people from countries related to real security issues and regardless, the program needs to be legislatively reformed and regulations that have caused Constitutional violations repealed before restarting in FY 2018,” the source adds.

So, the Trump team is aware and is aiming to “legislatively” reform the program which we have been insisting is the only way to permanently fix (if possible!) the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program.

Otherwise, if there is no legislative fix, then in 4, or 8, years the whole huge, uncontrolled, flow could begin again with a new president. (See ‘Where is Congress?’ here)
Reform of “regulations” is the Administration’s job!
Regulations do not need “repeal” (implying Congress gets involved), they need only be trashed or re-written by Trump’s people. (Could they trash the “regulations” that were written for the Wilson-Fish amendments? As I understand it, those regulations wrongly authorized a non-profit group to run a refugee program in a state that had withdrawn from the program.)
Leahy continues….

The language of the blueprint, however, could be interpreted to suggest that the Trump administration’s “significant funding of . . . [the] refugee program” defines the program broadly to include safe zones in other parts of the world in addition to the federal refugee resettlement program. As such, a further reduction of refugees resettled in the United States in FY 2018 could be entirely possible.

Leahy goes on to discuss the recent court decisions in Hawaii and in Maryland, noting that the judge in Hawaii did place a restraining order (we believe completely illegally) on Trump’s reduction of the Obama PROPOSED CEILING (see ceiling discussion here).
Then at the end of his informative piece, we get a laugh!  Leahy wraps up with this….

As to the number refugees who will be resettled in the United States during the balance of FY 2017, President Trump may take a page from President Andrew Jackson, whose tomb he honored during his visit to Nashville on Wednesday.

“John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it,” President Jackson said of an 1832 Supreme Court decision unfavorable to his policies issued by the Marshall Court.

President Trump’s attitude to the unfavorable decision issued by Judge Watson regarding a president’s Constitutional and statutory authority to limit the number of refugees arriving in the United States, a decision Judge Chuang [in Maryland case—ed] may agree with on March 28, may well be something like this:

“Judge Watson has made his decision; now let him pay for it.”

To read more and follow links, continue here.
See my FY17 and FY18 timeline here.  See my proposed areas to cut funding, here, yesterday because FUNDING IS POLICY.
All of my posts relating to the USRAP and President Trump’s efforts to restrain and reform it, are posted in my Trump Watch! category.
And, don’t miss Tennessee sues the feds! over Wilson-Fish program.

Tennessee files suit against federal government over cost to state of refugee program

It’s been a  long time coming, but yesterday, the State of Tennessee filed its Tenth Amendment case against the US Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services over the issue of cost-shifting of the US Refugee Admissions Program to the states.

Readers, this is big news!

Here is Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart yesterday (I see that Drudge featured the story last night and Fox News has picked it up as well):

The Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Tennessee General Assembly and the State of Tennessee in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on Monday challenging the federal refugee resettlement program for violating the state’s sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit places Tennessee at the center of the national debate concerning the operation of the federal refugee resettlement program.

President Trump will be holding a rally in Nashville on Wednesday to garner public support for his agenda. His revised Executive Order 13780 temporarily halting the federal refugee resettlement program and temporarily banning travel from six Middle Eastern countries goes into effect on Thursday.

[….]

The Refugee Act specified that 100 percent of each state’s cost of Medicaid and cash welfare benefits provided to each resettled refugee during their first 36 months in the United State would be reimbursed to each state by the federal government. However, within five years of having created the federal program, Congress failed to appropriate sufficient funding and instead, costs of the federal program began shifting to state governments.

Within ten years of passing the Refugee Act, the federal government eliminated all reimbursement of state costs, a huge financial cost to the states that was, in effect, yet another unfunded federal mandate.

[….]

The lawsuit seeks to define Tennessee’s rights in light of the forced expenditure of state funds in support of a federal program from which the state has formally withdrawn.

Continue here and see below the full text of the press release from the Thomas More Law Center.

For all of you in states that have withdrawn from the program***, you must push your governor and legislators to join this case.

If your state has not withdrawn and is willing to sue on states’ rights grounds, this is the direction you should be following: withdraw and then sue when the feds assign a non-profit to run the program!

To further your understanding, here (and below) is the full press release from the Thomas More Law Center, yesterday:

First in the Nation — Tennessee Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center, a national nonprofit public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, today filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee General Assembly, and two State legislators, challenging the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program as a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the principles of State sovereignty.

Defendants in the lawsuit include the U.S Departments of State and Health and Human Services, and their respective Secretaries.

Assisting the Thomas More Law Center, pro bono, is attorney B. Tyler Brooks with the law firm of Millberg Gordon Stewart PLLC located in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, noted, “Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts has observed, ‘The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.’ We intend to follow that advice in our lawsuit on behalf of the State of Tennessee and its citizens. We are asking the Court to stop the bleeding out of millions of Tennessee taxpayer dollars each year to fund a federal program from which the State officially withdrew in 2007.”

Thompson added, “Although there are compelling policy reasons to dismantle the existing refugee resettlement program in favor of resettling refugees in Middle East safe- zones as President Trump has suggested, this lawsuit focuses solely on the unconstitutional way the federal program is currently operating in the State of Tennessee.”

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. The purpose of the lawsuit is not to inflict harm on refugees, but to preserve the balanced constitutional relationship between the federal government and the States. It seeks a court declaration that the federal government has violated the Tenth Amendment and an order permanently enjoining the federal government from forcing the State of Tennessee to pay money out of its treasury to finance the federal refugee resettlement program.

The Tennessee General Assembly, by overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate, passed Senate Joint Resolution 467 (“SJR 467”) during the 2016 legislative session, which authorized legal action to stop the federal government from unconstitutionally commandeering State funds to finance the federal refugee resettlement program.

State Senator John Stevens and State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver are the two legislators who joined the lawsuit as individual plaintiffs. Senator Stevens is First Vice-Chair of the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance, Ways and Means, which is responsible for all measures relating to taxes and oversight of public monies in the State’s treasury. Representative Terri Lynn Weaver is the Chairman of the House Transportation Subcommittee which is charged with oversight of the budget relating to transportation.

Senator Stevens stated, “Through federal economic dragooning of our State’s budget, past Presidents and Congresses have quieted my vote and thereby my constituents’ voices. President Trump through executive action has reversed the overreaches of the Obama Administration in numerous ways. I trust President Trump in this regard. However, he needs our help.”

Continued Stevens, “The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to force me as the elected representative of the 24th Senate District to implement federal programs while they sit in Washington insulated from the consequences.”

Representative Weaver, who played an instrumental role in mobilizing legislative support for passage of SJR 467, commented, “Of all the legislation that I have worked on, this by far is the most important. The only way we can get back to our constitutional beginnings and the intent birthed by our Founding Fathers is to go and take it back. We are looking forward to linking arms with the Thomas More Law Center for the long haul to regain sovereignty for our great State.”

Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, another strong advocate for the lawsuit, emphasized the point that the lawsuit should not be taken as a criticism of the Trump Administration, “We want to convey to the President that we support his efforts concerning immigration and refugee resettlement and believe 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.”

When Congress enacted the Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980, the explicit intent was to assure full federal reimbursement of the costs for each refugee resettled and participating in benefit programs provided by the states. Eventually, however, federal reimbursements to the states for these benefit programs were reduced and, by 1991, eliminated entirely. The states thereby became responsible for the costs of the programs originally covered by the federal government.

Tennessee officially withdrew from participation in the refugee resettlement program in 2007. However, instead of honoring Tennessee’s decision to withdraw from the program, the federal government merely bypassed the State and appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a private, non-governmental organization to administer the program. Catholic Charities receives revenue based upon the number of refugees it brings into the State.

Currently, Tennessee State revenues that could otherwise be used for State programs to help Tennesseans are, in effect, appropriated by the federal government to support the federal refugee resettlement program. This arrangement displaces Tennessee’s constitutionally mandated funding prerogatives and appropriations process.

The Complaint is here.

The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, time-honored family values, and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The Law Center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education, and related activities. It does not charge for its services. The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization. You may reach the Thomas More Law Center at (734) 827-2001 or visit our website at www.thomasmore.org.

*** These are the so-called Wilson-Fish states that have withdrawn from the program over the years.

In addition to these below, several states have withdrawn in the last year and those include: Texas, Kansas, New Jersey and Maine. Florida is considering it right now.
Texas citizen activists must press your governor. He has already shown a willingness to sue the feds, but this is a much stronger case!
To the right of the state (and one county) is the federal NGO running the program in the state (I don’t know who has been assigned in the 4 recent withdrawals mentioned above):

Alabama: USCCB – Catholic Social Services
Alaska: USCCB – Catholic Social Services
Colorado: Colorado Department of Human Services
Idaho: Janus Inc. (formerly Mountain States Group), Idaho Office for Refugees
Kentucky: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Louisville, Kentucky Office for Refugees
Louisiana: USCCB – Catholic Charities Diocese of Baton Rouge, Louisiana Office for Refugees
Massachusetts: Office for Refugees and Immigrants
Nevada: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada
North Dakota: LIRS – Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota
San Diego County, CA: USCCB – Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego
South Dakota: LIRS – Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota
Tennessee: USCCB – Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Tennessee Office for Refugees
Vermont: USCRI – Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program

 
 

Utah, Tennessee seeing cuts in budget and staff as flow of refugees to US slows; it is their own fault!

Sorry to keep repeating myself, but someone once told me people have to hear things seven times before it sinks in.
One side benefit of the Trump refugee slowdown (but 50,000 isn’t that low! as I explained here) is that the public is learning that the federal refugee contractors have failed to keep their end of the bargain and raise enough private money to sustain their ‘charities’ as the US Treasury spigot is turned off.

miliband-laughing
Will Miliband take a 20% pay cut as his subcontractor is taking in Utah? See here that IRC CEO Miliband makes over a half a million dollars running this ‘charity’? https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2017/02/12/nyt-allows-wealthy-british-subject-to-lecture-us-about-fundamental-american-values/

The hundreds of contractors and subcontractors are dependent on a per head payment for their job of placing a refugee in your town and getting them signed up for their ‘services’ (ie. welfare).
Thus, once established (as I said here in ‘Ten things’ (#5)), there is no incentive for a contractor to voluntarily slow the flow to your community if it becomes overloaded with needy third worlders.
Here is one of many sob stories, this one from Utah, and from the extremely wealthy International Rescue Committee.
From KUER:

With anticipation of a possible new travel ban from the Trump Administration, refugee resettlement agencies in Utah are bracing for the worst.

The International Rescue Committee is one of Utah’s two refugee resettlement agencies. For every person they help find a new home, they get money from the U.S. State Department. Each year they resettle half the refugees that come to Utah, around 600 people according to their staff. But they’re expecting that number to be nearly cut in half.

“For the IRC this year, we’re estimating about 366 refugees, so that’s a pretty drastic drop,” says Natalie El-Deiry with the International Rescue Committee.

El-Deiry says that drop in numbers would come from the proposed 120-day halt on all refugees to the U.S. and an indefinite block of Syrian refugees, which she says need the most assistance.

El-Deiry says the decrease in clients could translate to about 20 percent less in their budget.

“The economic impact is: when we’re looking at reducing numbers across the board, it’s reducing an organization’s budget and so most organizations that resettle refugees are going to be looking at a budget shortfall,” El-Deiry says.

Continue reading here.

In Tennessee Catholic Charities is cutting staff to make up for its shortfall.

Apparently they too were too lazy to raise private money over the years from all of the humanitarians shouting for more refugees to be admitted to the US. Only Catholic Charities’ leadership is to blame for this evident mismanagement.
From The Tennessean:

Catholic Charities of Tennessee cut 13 jobs this week in its refugee resettlement office due to President Donald Trump’s executive order that drastically reduced the number of refugees coming to the United States this year.

The employees were notified of the layoffs Thursday, said Pam Russo, the executive director of the Nashville-based Catholic Charities of Tennessee. Staff who lost their jobs primarily served incoming refugees, and many of those employees came to the U.S. as refugees themselves, she said. [BTW, this highlights a little known practice of hiring refugees with federal money to help improve stats showing that refugees have employment.—ed]

“These are heartbreaking cuts,” Russo said. “We did not want to make them, but we had no choice because we did not want to put any of the other refugee services at risk.”

The layoffs come on the heels of another Christian-based refugee resettlement agency, World Relief, announcing more than 140 staff layoffs across the country and the closure of five offices, including in Nashville. World Relief also cited the Trump order in its decision.

More here.

Again, these refugee contractors have only themselves to blame for extremely poor leadership/management that had gotten fat on federal dollars and didn’t do enough of the hard work that legitimate charities are expected to do—raise private funds!

Endnote: The prize for Tucker Carlson would be to get IRC CEO, former British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband on his show!
Dear producers, I’ve done your work for you, click here to learn more about David Miliband (Hillary had a crush!). He also gave the IRC’s top prize—Freedom Award—to George Soros!