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Should States Have To Pay For Refugee Resettlement They Donít Want?
The Federalist ^ | April 2, 2019 | Don Barrett

Posted on 04/02/2019 5:20:51 AM PDT by gattaca

Today states that withdraw find resettlement continues without any oversight from state authorities yet with states continuing to be forced to pay.

Tennessee is the first state to tell the federal government that it can’t be forced to pay for the federal refugee resettlement program on the constitutional basis of federalism and the Tenth Amendment. It is suing the federal government over its continuation of refugee resettlement in Tennessee after the state withdrew from the program.

When the state withdrew more than 10 years ago, the federal government turned program administration over to the federal contractor, Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a nonprofit organization that earns most of its revenue from federal grants and contracts related to the refugee program. Catholic Charities immediately increased the number of refugees placed in Tennessee by nearly 50 percent, reaching an annual high-water mark of more than 2,000 per year by 2016. (Tennessee refugee numbers are down recently only because the overall national refugee quota was slashed after 2016.)

Although many costs fall to state taxpayers from refugee resettlement, such as public schools, special medical needs, and English Language Learner and interpreter services, the suit singles out the cost to state taxpayers for TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, and asserts the right not to pay the state portion of the Medicaid bill for refugees placed in Tennessee. Federal reports of refugee welfare usage show that, even five years after arrival, about 45 percent of refugees across the nation are in the Medicaid program.

The Tennessee General Assembly filed suit against the federal agencies responsible for the resettlement program over the right to enact the state’s annual budget without diverting TennCare funds to the federal government for refugees. The suit was heard in district court in March 2018 with the public interest law firm Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) representing the state legislature pro bono. The suit was dismissed on the grounds that the state legislature “lacked standing.”

Thomas More appealed, and the case was heard March 19 in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, where most of the oral arguments revolved around the legislature’s right to even bring such a suit.

How We Got to This Point The original federal Refugee Act intended to insulate states from program costs. The bill’s Senate sponsor, Edward Kennedy, stated specifically that “[s]tate and local agencies . . . not be taxed for programs they did not initiate and for which they were not responsible.”

As passed, the act intended for the federal government alone to fund the program it was creating. While ensuring that refugees are eligible for all welfare programs upon arrival on the same basis as U.S. citizens, Congress authorized federal reimbursement for three years of states’ portion of program costs for Medicaid and other state-specific costs generated by the resettled refugees.

Federal support to states for refugee costs was reduced shortly after passage of the Refugee Act and, by 1991, reimbursement for Medicaid and cash welfare was eliminated. Federal reports admit that as Congress reduced funding for the refugee resettlement program, the costs were shifted to state governments. During the 1992 reauthorization of the act, a Senate report acknowledged that “[s]ome smaller states indicate that they may eliminate their refugee programs entirely with such a cut [reimbursement to states]. And a consequence of such funding cuts is pressure to reduce the number of refugees admitted for resettlement…”

To add insult to injury, regulations issued during the Clinton administration make it impossible for a state to stop paying program costs by withdrawing from the refugee program, as in Tennessee. Today states that withdraw find resettlement continues under federal contractors acting without any oversight from state authorities yet with the state continuing to pay certain costs that were once the responsibility of the federal government.

After the Obama administration raised the annual refugee quota to 110,000 for FY 2016, Maine, Texas, New Jersey, and Kansas asked to withdraw from the program. Twenty-five states sued the federal government in an attempt to halt the planned large-scale Syrian resettlement. Except for Tennessee’s, no state refugee lawsuits are active today, partially due to Trump administration cuts to the refugee quota, now at 30,000 for the current fiscal year.

Can Feds Force States to Pay for Programs? Only the Tennessee lawsuit used the Tenth Amendment to address the imbalance of power between state and federal government shown by the intentional shift of costs from the federal government to the states. Surely the Constitution limits the federal government’s power to use state taxpayer money to fund a federal program that the state does not want to participate in.

The 2012 landmark case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius is cited as a precedent in the Tennessee lawsuit. While upholding most Obamacare provisions, Sebelius allowed states to decline its expansion of Medicaid.

In writing of this modest curb on federal dominance in the power relationship between the state and federal governments, Chief Justice John Roberts may have formulated the case for Tennessee best: “we look to the States to defend their prerogative by adopting ‘the simple expedient of not yielding’ to federal blandishments when they do not want to embrace federal policy as their own. The States are separate and independent sovereigns. Sometimes they have to act like it.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bordersecurity; federalspending; immigration; refugeeresettlement; refugees; statesrights
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1 posted on 04/02/2019 5:20:51 AM PDT by gattaca
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To: gattaca

Resettle them all in California and then turn over California and its politicians to Mexico as its newest province.


2 posted on 04/02/2019 5:25:00 AM PDT by chuckee
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To: gattaca
The suit was dismissed on the grounds that the state legislature “lacked standing.”

That's like legalise for 'fuck you'.

3 posted on 04/02/2019 5:27:27 AM PDT by Lockbox
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To: gattaca

They aren’t refugees, they didn’t want to stay in Mexico where they had safe refuge from the countries they were allegedly fleeing.

Additionally some have previously been convicted of crimes and deported from America and are unfit to return.


4 posted on 04/02/2019 5:27:30 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (Denounce DUAC - The Democrats Un-American Activists Committee)
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To: gattaca
Tennessee refugee numbers are down recently only because the overall national refugee quota was slashed after 2016

What happened in 2016 that might have caused this? Hmmmm.

More winning.

5 posted on 04/02/2019 5:33:46 AM PDT by wbill
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To: gattaca

Every Fake Refugee should be shipped to a “Sanctuary State.” No federal funds should be granted to “resettle” them.


6 posted on 04/02/2019 5:34:44 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: gattaca

Catholic Charities has been planting many thousands of muzzie immigrants around rural America, too. Even conscripting church camps to house them. Muzzies — centuries-old sworn enemies of Catholics. WTH?


7 posted on 04/02/2019 5:36:16 AM PDT by polymuser (It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged today. - Chesterton)
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To: gattaca

Tennessee and 10th Amendment bump.

The central government has always been a monster that must be restrained. Unfortunately, the chains the Founders put on the monster have largely been loosened by the central government doing whatever it wants in violation of the constitution (with the active support of a leftist judiciary) and the states yielding to it.


8 posted on 04/02/2019 5:36:47 AM PDT by SharpRightTurn (Chuck Schumer--giving pond scum everywhere a bad name.)
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To: chuckee
Resettle them all in California and then turn over California and its politicians to Mexico as its newest province.

Mexico would love to assimilate a bunch of Somalis into its populace. They would fit in just fine.

9 posted on 04/02/2019 5:42:10 AM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: gattaca

We are being colonized. The first indication your area has been targeted is a new Mexican food isle in your favorite grocery store that caters to Hispanics will suddenly appear. Then the S.A. illiterates show up with EBT’s and who pays for this? You and me. The Chamber Of Commerce gets to enslave the taxpayer plus maybe some of the stoop laborers can be useful. The grocery stores make out with taxpayer funded customers increasing profits. It’s a win-win-LOSE for America CoC, Democrats and the taxpayer in that order.


10 posted on 04/02/2019 5:42:52 AM PDT by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: gattaca

11 posted on 04/02/2019 5:46:04 AM PDT by Travis McGee (EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: gattaca

“Catholic Charities” is an agreement with Satan.


12 posted on 04/02/2019 5:46:05 AM PDT by ConservativeMind (Trump: Befuddling Democrats, Republicans, and the Media for the benefit of the US and all mankind.)
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To: central_va

13 posted on 04/02/2019 5:47:39 AM PDT by Travis McGee (EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: gattaca

You can thank the globalists at the State Department and their cooperating contracted like minded associates in numerous NGOs for these massively disruptive “resettlement” programs. Their purpose is to culturally transform America.


14 posted on 04/02/2019 5:52:09 AM PDT by allendale (.)
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To: chuckee

Send them to Hawaii.


15 posted on 04/02/2019 5:53:36 AM PDT by ActresponsiblyinVA
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To: gattaca

i know that the fubocare ruling by roberts is a touchy subject here, however, that ruling as bad as it was, was filled with golden bars. How do i know this? that old bag ginsburg was PISSED.... one of the bars of gold was that the feds can no longer issue or force states to carry out unfunded mandates.... just a suggestion


16 posted on 04/02/2019 5:56:23 AM PDT by joe fonebone (Communists Need To Be Eliminated)
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To: gattaca

All resettlements should go to sanctuary cities in whatever state those cities are in. Blue states first.


17 posted on 04/02/2019 6:05:33 AM PDT by Michael.SF. (California: knowingly give someone aids: misdemeanor. Give them a straw, go to jail.)
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To: gattaca

no thanks!!


18 posted on 04/02/2019 6:07:47 AM PDT by ronniesgal (so I wonder what his FR handle is????)
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To: polymuser

Lutherans too.


19 posted on 04/02/2019 6:08:35 AM PDT by ronniesgal (so I wonder what his FR handle is????)
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To: central_va
We are being colonized.

That's exactly what's happening, and Americans simply don't care or are too self-absorbed to even notice.

20 posted on 04/02/2019 6:28:06 AM PDT by ScottinVA (The most urgent gathering threat to America: the Democrat Party)
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