Members of Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s staff would not say Wednesday whether Lee might cave to immigration activists and members of the religious left on letting more refugees into the state.
As reported earlier this week, Lee has to decide, per an executive order from President Donald Trump.
A large contingent of Tennessee Star readers said this week on our website and our Facebook page that they do not want Lee to allow more refugees in. Readers said if Lee did so that he would make himself a one-term governor.
We asked the governor’s office Wednesday whether Lee’s staff members had received emails and phone calls from constituents wanting to discuss the issue? And, if so, what were people saying? And what does Lee say to people who are pleading with him not to cave on this issue?
No one in Lee’s office responded to our request for comment before Wednesday’s deadline.
As reported, Trump issued an executive order in September that asked states and cities to consent in writing if they want to continue refugee resettlements.
Lee spokeswoman Laine Arnold told The Star Monday there are two different deadlines – one for framework and another for consent.
“The federal government is in the process of providing further guidance on this executive order. There is a 90-day window from when an executive order drops and when that framework is put in place. In this case, that puts the deadline for framework at the end of December,” Arnold said.
“The state’s deadline for consent is January 21. We will continue working with the federal government to determine the best outcome for Tennessee.”
But because Tennessee has yet to respond, members of refugee organizations, such as the Catholic Charities of Tennessee, reportedly the largest resettlement agency in the state, are lobbying Lee to consent, Nashville Public Radio reported.
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