Gov. Lee Has Not Made Decision on Whether to Refuse Refugees


Gov. Bill Lee said Thursday he hasn’t decided if he’ll accept President Donald Trump’s offer to let states refuse to accept refugees, U.S. News reported. The governor added he has not spoken to his team about how he will respond to this executive order.

In 2016, Former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam decided not to sign lawmakers’ resolution demanding a lawsuit.

However in Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, made a decision on the matter: her state will continue to accept refugees, given Trump’s executive order that gives states the decision, MSNBC reported.

“Resettlement is a lifeline our country provides to the world’s most vulnerable refugees,” Brown tweeted.

The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) and Bursch Law PLLC filed a petition for rehearing by the entire Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals bench of a two-judge panel opinion dismissing Tennessee’s challenge to the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program for lack of standing, The Tennessee Star reported in September.

The petition for rehearing is available here.

The two-judge panel rejected the state’s challenge in July, as The Star previously reported.

The basis for the rehearing petition, which was filed Friday, Sept. 6, is that the two-judge opinion is “painfully at odds” with Supreme Court precedent.

A federal judge in March 2018 dismissed Tennessee’s lawsuit against the federal government’s resettlement of refugees in the state on 10th amendment grounds, The Star said. The Tennessee General Assembly in May 2018 authorized the Thomas More Law Center to file an appeal on its behalf, The Star reported. The law center did not charge for the service.

Trump has again lowered the maximum amount of refugees allowed into the United States, bringing it to yet another record low, according to The Hill. The Trump Administration is set to move forward with lowering the refugee cap to just 18,000 for the 2020 fiscal year, the lowest since the refugee program was first started in 1980.

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.
Background Photo “Tennessee Capitol” by Ken Lund. CC BY-SA 2.0.




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9 Thoughts to “Gov. Lee Has Not Made Decision on Whether to Refuse Refugees”

  1. Jim

    Govenor from Oregon wants to talk about refusing refugees is not the principles our country was founded on… she is an idiot. Thus country was founded on Christian values. Muslims trying to enter this country are by definition, enemies of our Republic. She cannot see the evidence of it apparently, and is trying to welcome the enemy! She needs replaced in the next election.

  2. Ralph

    Why here? Imagine, if you will, if we had a crisis here – wouldn’t you want to be given temporary refuge in a nearby country that speaks your language (Canada let’s say), one that has a similar culture and which shares your values and beliefs? Where you could easily fit in. Or would you rather be shipped halfway around the world where you don’t speak the language, you don’t share the culture, struggling just to navigate your daily life, the food makes you sick, your kids are sent to schools where they are befuddled and humiliated, and instead of empathy for your plight, you are not particularly welcomed, if not actually reviled?

    The United States is the golden ring – if you can get here, you’re never going to leave. Now that Syria is beginning to restore some measure of civil order, Turkey is eager to repatriate most, not all but most, of the refugees, as is Jordan and Lebanon. As for the Syrian refugees themselves, they’re happy to leave refugee camps to get back to restoring their lives as it was before the crisis.

    As for the Syrian refugees that came here? How many are repatriating? What is the US policy for repatriation once hostilities have ended? What about those refugees who resettled in western Europe? Think they’re going back? No way.

    Another aspect is that the previous US President, who shall not be named, cynically used the refugee crisis as a means to demographically alter rural communities to “look more like America.”

    Even in the big cities – ask the people in Minneapolis, aka Little Somalia, how that’s working out for them. For all of her complaining about the United States and its culture, why doesn’t Ilhan Omar work toward improving lives in Somalia instead?

    Enough. If Minnesota wants to put up with it, fine. We don’t.

  3. 83ragtop50

    How hard can it be to say NO!!!!

    I am afraid we are starting to see the real Governor Lee.

  4. Judy Dodson

    Gov. Lee better consider the TN taxpayers in this. There are many issues within the state that have not been resolved and has the potential to cause a great deal of unrest among the citizens. We have already voted on the tax issue and our feelings have not changed. We have our share of IA. Many legal residents who are not receiving adequate funds despite working 2 jobs and still having 2nd rate living conditions and below poverty level incomes are tired of paying for illegals to have a better life without working or having any respect for our state. There is NO justification for more illegals–and people are ready to rise up and say so. Tenncare is a joke when people need health care and are consistently refused–let those who really need the help come first. Let the Tenncare funds benefit those who have lived here, paid taxes and sacrificed in order to benefit from it when and if the time arose. There are many, many people who need health care and are not receiving it because of the illegals who are draining our already poor economy!

  5. Pandora

    I hope the Governor realizes that we did not want and still do not want more refugees. We had a big fight about this already and tried to stop them based on the 10th Amendment. Nothing has changed since then. We still DO NOT WANT REFUGEES. I hope he doesn’t agree to take more. That would be a big problem.

  6. CCW

    I suggest Billy Lee ask the TBI or whoever can do a responsible canvas, to do a survey and determine how many IAs we have living in the state now, before he asks more to come in. That would be the political disaster avoidance policy to follow before making the decision to take on more.

  7. Mary

    He’d better refuse!

  8. Karen Bracken

    In other words our Governor is waiting for his orders. He wants to confer with his team????? Perhaos you should confer with the taxpayer. We will tell you we do not want the refugees. They are a money maker for groups like Catholic Charities and an econimic burden on the taxpayer.

    1. CCW

      My guess is that what we are seeing is the first string dangling from the $7.9 Bn federal block grant dangling in front of the TN state gov. “Uh, Gov. Lee, you see, we need you to take these refugees in and spend some of that stoked up TnCare from the grant on taking care of them.”

      So Billy Lee is waiting for his staff to come up with some good political pablum to feed the TN taxpayers, justifying the refugees.