Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has followed Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s lead and said he supports refugee resettlement in his state.
“About half of the states have consented to keep accepting refugees. No states so far have said they plan to stop accepting refugees under Trump’s order. Even if a state opts out under Trump’s order, refugees could still move there, but they wouldn’t get funding for medical assistance and screenings, employment, social adjustment services and English language training,” according to the website.
“In September, Trump slashed the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. and authorized state and local governments to refuse to accept them. An executive order says that if a state or a locality has not consented to receive refugees under the State Department’s Reception and Placement Program, then refugees should not be resettled within the state or locality unless the secretary of state decides otherwise. Some resettlement groups have sued to block Trump’s order.”
As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Lee announced that the state will not stop resettling refugees, even though Republican Lt. Gov. Randy McNally and Republican Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton said they disagree.
As for Lee, he released a statement explaining his reasons.
“The United States and Tennessee have always been … a shining beacon of freedom and opportunity for the persecuted and oppressed, particularly those suffering religious persecution,” Lee said in a statement.
“My administration has worked extensively to determine the best outcome for Tennessee, and I will consent to working with President Trump and his administration to responsibly resettle refugees.”
McNally and Sexton, however, took issue with Lee in a statement they released to the press Wednesday.
“Both our nation and the state of Tennessee have been extremely welcoming to immigrants throughout modern history. In 2016, the General Assembly adopted a resolution expressing the desire of our citizens to file a federal lawsuit to halt refugee resettlement in Tennessee,” the two officials said.
“Our opinion has not changed on this issue since legal action was taken, and our personal preference would have been to exercise the option to hit the pause button on accepting additional refugees in our state. However, the federal order makes this the sole decision of the Governor, and he has made his call.”
– – –