Tennessee: Bill Advances that would Require Legislature to Okay Spending on Refugees

And, of course the refugee industry as represented by the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights cabal (TIRRC) is steaming!

By the way, this legislation is a possible model for you in states where your Republican governor has caved to the Open Borders Left and said yes to more refugees for your state.  Of course it could only work in states where the legislature has a Republican majority with some guts.

First here is the news, then we’ll learn a bit more about TIRRC which has 6 paid lobbyists included in a staff of 14 while those organizing grassroots on the side of restraining more migration, in pockets of resistance, must do so with no funding support.

From Fox 17 Nashville:

Tennessee committee advances bill seeking to halt refugee resettlement

NASHVILLE, Tenn.–The Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) is calling a Tennessee House of Representatives bill recommended for passage “hateful.”

TIRRC says Rep. Weaver is appealing to “hateful” voters with her bill.

HJR 741 targets state funds used to resettle refugees as part of a federal program which allows states to opt-in to accept refugee resettlement.

Under the bill originally filed by Rep. Teri Lynn Weaver (R-Lancaster), HJR 741 calls for no action to be taken by Governor Bill Lee when it comes to resettlement unless authorized by a joint resolution of the General Assembly.

The bill targets Governor Lee due to his decision to continue to accept refugees in the state in response to an Executive Order issued by President Donald J. Trump last year. President Trump had issued the “Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement” order in September.

Under the Executive Order, the Federal Government would only be able to resettle refugees in specific areas where state and local governments agree to accept refugees.

One of TIRRC’s paid staffers is happy to lob the “hate” label. But, Ms. Clerjeune loves the governor now! See here: https://refugeeresettlementwatch.org/2019/12/20/tennessee-republican-governor-bill-lee-caves-says-tennessee-will-invite-more-refugees/

However, the decision is ultimately in the hands of each state’s governor and Lee made the decision to continue participation.

Rep. Weaver’s resolution says Governor Lee’s decision obligates public money “in violation of the Tennessee General Assembly’s constitutional duty.” The resolution was recommended for passage on Tuesday by the Departments & Agencies Subcommittee.

TIRRC is calling the advancement part of a “classic hateful playbook.” TIRRC Votes Police and Legislative Affairs Manager Judith Clerjeune issued the following statement in response to the resolution…

You can read it yourself here.

Who is TIRRC?

A few days ago Tennessee’s Dailyrollcall reported on TIRRC and its fellow travelers that include the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity!

Tennessee Elected Officials – is it the Tenth or TIRRC For You?

Republican governors, like Tennessee’s Bill Lee, have given up any pretense of caring about the Tenth Amendment to the US Constitution by allowing the federal government to dictate how Tennesseans will spend their tax dollars.

 

TN Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition’s political arm called TIRRC VOTES, has SIX paid lobbyists. TIRRC itself has 14 on staff, Soros money and is running multiple email disinformation campaigns on refugee resettlement, targeting state legislators, local county commissioners and any other locally elected official.

At it’s core, TIRRC’s agenda aligns with that of the New American Economy (NAE, formerly named the Partnership for a New American Economy) outfit, along with the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity (AFP), two big dollar organizations mobilized to push more legal and illegal immigrants into communities. Like TIRRC, NAE and AFP are pushing back on key Trump immigration policies intended to help American citizens prosper.

NAE, AFP and TIRRC like to push the false economic-enhancing narrative of legal immigrants like refugees and illegal aliens. TIRRC also thinks name-calling like xenophobe, racist and hater, is an effective tool to silence anyone who disagrees with their agenda.

While TIRRC’s coalition member the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) parades refugees turned Tennesseans, NAE puts out reports claiming that after living in the U.S. between 16-25 years, refugees are earn “well above the income of refugees who have been here for five years or less.” They also claim that refugees are the answer to reviving aging and declining communities.

TIRRC parrots these same points trying to deflect from the Tennessee issues. With regard to the federal refugee program, Tennessee legislators and advocates have raised the core Constitutional issue of federalism on the one hand, and the role of the state’s legislature to appropriate public money, on the other.

On these important state issues, it appears that Governor Lee has aligned himself lock, stock and barrel with TIRRC as opposed to advocating for the state’s Tenth Amendment rights and Tennessee’s Constitutional powers and duties.

Much more here.

Are Evangelicals Abandoning the President on Refugee Resettlement?

The President made it clear when he campaigned in 2016 that he wanted to see the number of refugees reduced if elected President especially from countries where the majority of its citizens hate us.  He has been doing that with each year.

Church World Service, a federal refugee resettlement contractor, is a Religious Left organization that not only wants more refugees, but is a key player in the Open Borders movement—as you can see in this photo of one of their street activists. This is not just about a few poor refugees as they would like you to think—they want to fundamentally remake America.

And, this year he took one more step to answer the concerns of immigrant-overloaded towns and cities and has offered the opportunity for county elected officials and state governors to either opt-in or opt-out of the refugee admissions program later this fiscal year.  This would give their taxpayers a breather since it is local and state taxpayers who must support the low-skilled and largely uneducated new arrivals.

Trump’s new system, that we have been writing about every day for the last couple of weeks, would go into effect in June 2020, but would likely have to be repeated in the fall as the determination for 2021 must be made by October 1.

The Open Borders ‘Religious’ Left has turned Trump’s efforts to give some control back to state and local officials into one more anti-Trump campaign.

One such group are the supposed “evangelicals” featured in this headline from something called the Christian Post.

2,600 evangelicals urge governors to continue refugee resettlement after Trump order

A reader very familial with the evangelical movement tells me that this is “fake news.”

He said he is “furious” and went on to explain,

“if you look at the actual letters, it appears that as many as 25-50 percent of the signatures have zero connection to the Evangelical movement. They are Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, Anglicans and even a few Catholics. Shame on the Christian PostInstead of saying “Evangelical Christians” their article should have said “Liberal Christians.”

And, I will add:  Liberal Christians looking for more Democrat voters!

Here is some of what Christian Post reporter Samuel Smith says in this deliberately deceptive report:

Over 2,600 evangelicals called on their state governors this past week to consent to resettle refugees in their borders following an executive order signed by President Donald Trump requiring approval from state and local officials before refugees can be resettled.

The evangelical refugee resettlement agency World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table [Soros-linked!—ed] a coalition of evangelical organizations seeking comprehensive immigration reform, led an effort this past week to send joint letters to 15 state governors.

The letters call for the officials to permit the continued resettlement of refugees through the U.S. refugee admissions program in accordance with Trump’s Sept. 26 executive order giving states and localities the ability to block refugee resettlement.

So far, 17 of the nation’s 50 governors have indicated that they will continue to allow refugee resettlement in the U.S., according to World Relief.

We have only seen 11 governors go public so far, so we don’t know where they get 17.  Are 6 additional governors hiding?  See my right hand sidebar to see which governors have said yes so far. 

These consenting governors have effectively said:  send my state more poor people (we have run out of our own vulnerable citizens to care for).  We look forward to the day when all the immigrants will vote and we can have just one big Democrat socialist party in America!

Will Governors who are prime targets for the Religious Left (Texas, Tennessee and Georgia) abandon Trump?

The Christian Post continues…

The letters received a combined total of 2,669 signatories, including 659 on the letter to Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee, 340 on the letter to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and 231 on the letter to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.

[….]

One state of concern in Texas, which is among the leading states in terms of refugees resettled in the past decade.

Texas has resettled over 80,000 refugees since 2002, according to Pew Research. Texas joined liberal states California, New York and Washington in hosting about a quarter of the refugees resettled in the U.S. in the fiscal year 2019.

As a conservative governor, Abbott hasn’t offered any indication so far on whether or not he will consent to refugee resettlement.

Another state of concern is Georgia, which resettled 1,000 refugees in the fiscal year 2019 as the Atlanta suburb of Clarkston, Georgia is home to thousands of refugees.

There is much more here.

The states the Religious Leftwing letter writers are specifically targeting (they want to get their consent by Christmas) are Arizona, North Carolina, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.

I asked yesterday if Republican governors are all talk no action?  

Only four years ago 30 Republican governors were telling Obama they didn’t want any Syrian refugees (the big group Obama wanted to admit) and now Trump gives them an opportunity to slow the flow and allow the massive migrant population we already have to assimilate, they are turning tail and running and you know its because they are afraid of being called names by the Leftists (or are in the pockets of giant global corporations clamoring for cheap labor!).

The extreme Left that makes up Open Borders Inc. is so extensively organized (and largely using our tax dollars to help them organize!) that regular citizens like you and me have very little power against them.

One thing this Trump initiative will do is help us identify who are the real America Firsters controlling governor’s mansions.

Have you taken 15 minutes to call your county commissioners and governors?

The Religious Left is on the rise, if you are a true evangelical, please make that clear when you call or write!

Shame on You if You Don’t Take 15 Minutes to Do This!

For new readers, see my ‘Where to find information’ category for more on this issue.

Are you making your calls?

Shame on You if You Don’t Take 15 Minutes to Do This!

The President listened to our concerns about having no say in where refugees are placed.  If you are fuming over the impeachment process (which you can do nothing about) then support him by doing this one little thing—take 15 minutes and make some calls!

(Visit my category, Where to find information, if this is the first time you are hearing this news. I’ve been writing non-stop for days on this important opportunity Trump has made available.)

If you are contacting elected officials please send me feedback at refugeewatcher@gmail.com

Here are a few of the arguments your elected officials (who want more refugees) will make:

  • Trump isn’t bringing very many so the numbers are tiny.  Yes, they are smaller than they have been in the past, but wait till Trump is no longer in the White House and watch the numbers explode!
  • The federal government pays for the program.  No it doesn’t. It has long ago stopped reimbursing states for myriad costs.  Who do you think is paying for Medicare, education for the children and even translation services at every institution that interfaces with the refugees?  Not to mention the cost of the criminal justice system in your county and state.
  • Non-profit groups and churches are taking care of them.  Only for the first three months and they are paid by the federal government (you again!) to do their ‘humanitarian’ work. Their CEOs are pulling in obscene six figure salaries for their ‘charitable good works’.
  • Big companies like meat packers need the ready supply of labor—jobs Americans won’t do.  Maybe that is because these giant globalist corporations aren’t paying decent wages. (Refugees receive welfare to make up for meager wages.)  Why should your town suffer cultural destabilization and social upheaval to help the likes of BIG MEAT?
  • Our community is lacking in diversity and everyone knows that diversity brings strength. There is no research to support that favorite talking point of Open Borders, Inc.  In fact there is some research that refutes that mumbo-jumbo.
  • But we are a compassionate people.  Yes, and so how is it demonstrating compassion to move poor people from their own cultures, dropping them off in places like Chicago so they can get menial jobs, an act of compassion? Why not keep them safe in their own region of the world until they can go home?
  • We are a nation of immigrants.  That is another of Open Borders activists favorite talking points.  Do you know that we actually stopped most immigration to America for 3 decades leading up to 1965?  Why? Because so many were coming that we needed a breather to give them a chance to assimilate. So taking a break is not unprecedented.
  • Refugees are screened and therefore they don’t commit crimes or commit acts of terrorism. Yes, they do and I have literally hundreds of posts archived here confirming they do.  And, use your head, how do you screen someone who has left some hellhole country with no government and is wandering around the world with no papers?  We aren’t stupid!  Tell your elected officials, the US is not capable of calling up some little village in Syria, for example, to see if Mohammed has a criminal record.
  • Ask all pro-refugee elected officials if they have any limit to the number they want for your town/city/county/state.  Is 100 a year a good number?  500? 1000? 10,000?  Pin them down, make them tell you if they have a number that would be just too many for your community or state to absorb.
  • And, ask your elected official if they have in any way taken the pulse of your town/city/county or are they just listening to the political activists at the local Interfaith group.
  • When they call you names—racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, or whatever—know that they haven’t any good arguments and have resorted to attacking you personally. Wear the attack as a badge of honor!

North Dakota: Cass County Caves to Lutheran Refugee Contractor; Votes for More Refugees

But, continue reading!  There is good news too!  Wait for it!

Remember that I told you here that North Dakota Republican Governor Doug Burgum went down the wimpy middle and said the state would take more refugees if local jurisdictions agreed.  So it looks like Cass County has given the governor his green light.

Read all about it here.

Cass County Commissioners Vote Yes to Refugee Resettlement

Unless the governor changes his mind, North Dakota taxpayers will be continuing to prop up a 4-decades-old federal program that was never supposed to be a burden on local and state taxpaying citizens.

If you are a new reader, be sure to see an important post yesterday where I explain what the Open Borders Left is doing to smash the President’s September Executive Order that gives state and local government an opportunity to opt-in or opt-out of being a refugee placement city or county.

Now to some good news!

Cass County might have caved, but the citizens of Bismarck came out in force to urge their county commission to say NO! to more refugees and the commissioners decided to postpone the decision.

Before I give you the news, know that it was 11 degrees in Bismarck last night!  Can you pull this off where you live?

So many people came out to oppose more refugees in Burleigh County that the Commissioners postponed their vote! https://www.kfyrtv.com/content/news/Full-house-at-Burleigh-Commission-meeting-Refugee-Resettlement-decision-postponed-565717621.html

From KXNET:

Decision On Refugee Consent Delayed

BISMARCK — People came from all over Monday evening in the hopes of making their voice heard to the Burleigh County Commission.

Bismarck Mayor Steve Bakken was in attendance.

With a heavy police presence, you could feel the tension in the air as most of the crowd was there to convince the commission to vote against giving consent to Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota for a refugee settlement.

The consent is necessary after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in September that requires state and local governments to give consent to whether they will accept refugees or not.

Some people KX News spoke with did not want that to happen.

“124 people statewide does not have an impact, however, if the 124 do a chain migration that could easily be 1,200. And in a state of 750,000 people, 1,200 is a lot,” said local resident Phillip Cohen, who’s against allowing the consent.

The problem was so many people turned up to the meeting, they couldn’t fit everyone inside, so in the interest of fairness, the commission decided to table the matter until a larger venue could be secured in the near future.

County Commission Chairman Brian Bitner

Brian Bitner is the chair of the commission and said he also has reservations about granting the consent for financial reasons.

“I haven’t seen anything in this package, anywhere, that tells me that we’re consenting to five or 50 or 500 or anything. So North Dakota is already the highest per capita state for refugee resettlement in terms of number of citizens, so in the absence of any sort of number, there’s no way we could know the cost to the state or the county, and I simply can’t support that,” said Bitner.

Opponents of the news said an increase in refugees could lead to a drain on government services and an increase in crime, something the pro-refugee crowd overwhelmingly denied.

[….]

But with no decision Monday, the clock is ticking, because agencies must submit their written consent by Jan. 21 or lose federal funds that could be used to reunite families and place refugees in places with jobs, and other supportive means.

More here.

As for the January 21 deadline, it is for the nine resettlement contractors and their subcontractors to have their plans submitted to the US State Department in order to get their federal funding.  At that time they need to have written permission from the governor and from the county government, or the city (if applicable), in hand.

(See the US State Department’s funding guidance here.)

They are shooting to get those approvals by Christmas, so you must get moving where you live!  As I’ll tell you in an upcoming post, the Leftwing refugee contractors and others in the Open Borders movement are putting every county in play!  (Not just those with existing sites, like these.)

This is not just a bureaucratic exercise! 

The Left has made it into a referendum on Donald Trump’s refugee policies in an election year.  The President is correct that state’s can choose whether to be a resettlement state or not. For us it is a referendum on state’s rights and whether local citizens will have a say in whether their communities will be changed (forever!).

Original Refugee Act: States have a Right to Opt-in or Opt-out of Refugee Admissions Program

Editor:  Thanks to David James for another excellent analysis of the vital question about the resettlement of refugees in the US—do states have any right to say no to the placement of UN/US State Department selected refugees within their borders?

James says yes, and explains that a Migration Policy Institute paper by a legal expert confirmed that in 2011.

Indeed the original Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 foresaw an opt-in and in practice that opt-in has been ignored for nearly 4 decades, Trump is attempting to fix that as I have been explaining in recent days.
The primary reason you should be involved now is that you should have a say in how your state and local taxes are spent (not some federally funded NGO operating out of New York City, Washington or Baltimore).

 

Soros Funded Immigration Think Tank Said States Can Reject Refugees

The self-described non-partisan Soros-funded Migration Policy Institute (MPI), was light years ahead of President Trump about the limited authority of the federal government to force refugee resettlement in states which say no thanks.

In 2016 George Soros pledged to give $500 million to promote migration. Forbes reports that one of the beneficiaries is the Migration Policy Institute. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kerenblankfeld/2016/09/20/billionaire-george-soros-earmarks-500-million-for-migrants-and-refugees/#7815e75b3888

In 2011, the MPI issued a paper titled, The Faltering U.S. Refugee Protection System: Legal and Policy Responses to Refugees, Asylum Seekers, and Others in Need of Protection, written by lawyer Donald Kerwin, Exec. Dir. of Center for Migration Studies and former ED of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, a subsidiary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The USCCB is also one of the busiest federal resettlement contractors whose last available financial statement in 2017 showed $50 million dollars in federal grants comprising 94% of the USCCB budget for migration and refugee services.

States have rights!

Kerwin wrote that states need to say yes to refugees before the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees & Migration (PRM) resettles refugees in any state:

Resettlement agencies (many affiliated with VOLAGs] meet with state and local officials on a quarterly basis regarding the opportunities and services available to refugees in local communities and the ability of these communities to accommodate new arrivals. They also consult with the state refugee coordinator on placement plans for each local site. PRM provides ORR and states with proposed VOLAG placement plans. If a state opposes the plan, PRM will not approve it.

During a 2010 U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, testimony from Fort Wayne, Indiana and Clarkson, Georgia city officials stated that they had never been consulted or given notice by resettlement agencies or PRM about upcoming resettlement plans.

There’s plenty of evidence that even if these consultations actually take place, they only happen between like-minded bureaucrats and not with say, state legislators on the finance committees.

Remember too, that in states which have withdrawn from the resettlement program, the state refugee coordinator is typically an NGO which has its own refugee resettlement program heavily dependent on keeping the federal cash flowing to its bank account.

Of course, there is no accounting for the state taxpayer dollars being forcibly taken to pay for the federal program, even if a state has already withdrawn.

Another dirty little secret about refugee placements is that decisions about “capacity” at the local level for resettlement is left up to the federal contractors whose financial well-being is directly tied to how many refugees they can bring in during the fiscal year.

The US General Accounting Office found that “capacity” can pretty much mean anything the contractor wants it to mean including its own long-term funding needs.”

It’s not clear what Kerwin’s basis was for his concession to a state’s authority to reject a proposed refugee resettlement plan. But Tennessee’s lawsuit offers a legally viable and coherent explanation – the federal government’s admission to shifting the costs of its refugee program to state governments in violation of the Tenth Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

Not only that, but the refugee resettlement program was designed originally as an opt-in. The 1980 Act has no language authorizing a replacement after state withdrawal but is structured as an opt-in program for states just like other federal spending programs. It wasn’t until 1994, that the state withdrawal/ORR replacement provisions were added to the regulations.

When a state chooses to withdraw from the federal program ORR, gave itself, by regulation, what the enabling legislation didn’t – the authority to appoint a replacement state designee. Importantly, appointing a replacement state designee, is permissive, not mandatory. In each state that has chosen to withdraw, however, ORR has appointed an NGO resettlement agency as the state’s replacement designee. This has resulted in forced state participation and forced state expenditures for the federal program.

President Trump’s Executive Order reads as if a state can override consent by local governments to bring in refugees. However, the operating details won’t be known until HHS and the State Department issue their guidance on the consent.

Of course, the activist judge who will be deciding the lawsuit  brought by the VOLAGs challenging Trump’s order will have to choose between following the law or legislating from the bench.

Local activists would do well to explain the real fiscal implications to their state legislators and governor of the state being forced to pay the federal freight that Congress has chosen to shift to the state, taking state funding priorities away from the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

 

This post if filed in my Comments worth noting/guest posts category.