Republicans in the state of Tennessee, through the Thomas More Law Center, have filed a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the federal government’s refugee resettlement program.
The suit contends that by forcing the state to house ‘refugees,’ it violates state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.
TN is challenging refugee resettlement on constitutional grounds. Well played Tennessee.
— Carol B (@CarolJo44) March 14, 2017
Over the last several years, Obama’s resettlement program has shifted the burden of costs onto the individual states, forcing them to cover Medicaid expenses for the refugees, as well as other expenses for education and English language learning resources.
Via the Spokesman-Review:
The state of Tennessee has filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of its refugee resettlement program.
The lawsuit, which was filed Monday by the Tennessee General Assembly, argues that the program is forcing the state to spend money on additional services for refugees, such as health care and education.
The litigation, which does not have the backing of Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam or state Attorney General Herbert Slatery, outraged advocates for refugees.
The lawsuit accuses the government of “commandeering state money” by coercing the state to pay for costs of the refugees by threatening Tennessee with cutting off $7 billion worth of Medicaid funding.
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Forcing the state to cover such expenses, the suit alleges, is a violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Tennessee challenging the federal refugee program, calling on the federal government to pay all the costs for resettlement pic.twitter.com/i2pqjEoSML
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 14, 2017
The suit contends in part that, “The state funds commandeered to support the federal government’s refugee resettlement program deprive plaintiffs of scarce financial resources that are critical for protecting the welfare, health, and safety of all Tennesseans.”
The Thomas More Law Center filed the suit on behalf of the Republican-led General Assembly, after Attorney General Herbert Slatery and Governor Bill Haslam, both Republicans as well, declined to take part.
Comment: Do you think the federal refugee resettlement program violates state rights? Tell us your thoughts below.
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