Five More Tennessee Counties May Fight Gov. Bill Lee on Refugees


Elected officials in five Tennessee counties said Monday they are considering resolutions to tell Republican Gov. Bill Lee that, no, they do not want more refuges in their respective areas.

Officials in three of the five counties — Wilson, Cannon, and Stewart — told The Tennessee Star Monday they do not wish to burden their taxpayers with the additional costs of caring for refugees.

As reported, Loudon County commissioners unanimously passed a similar resolution.

Stewart County Mayor Robin Brandon said commissioners could discuss the matter as early as this week.

“We already have minority settlements in Stewart County. We have a religious Korean settlement and a Muslim enclave that has also settled here. The median income in Stewart County is $46,000 a year. We are basically kind of a poor county,” Brandon said.

“We have enough people to take care of. We don’t need to bring in more people that don’t speak the language and will be on government assistance or welfare. We are trying to lift our county out of the poverty ranks rather than bring more in. I would be against bringing in any refugees.”

Cannon County Commissioner Jim Bush, meanwhile, said he and his colleagues will consider a resolution in March. Bush, who put the resolution forward, said that was the earliest he could get the item up for consideration.

“We are a poor county, and we do good to survive with what we’ve got. This will bring more pressure onto the county,” Bush said.

“I don’t know what kind of Christian Bill Lee is, but his mindset is not right. You can quote me on that one. When you bring in refugees that refuse to assimilate with us then I’m sorry, but I don’t have time for it.”

Wilson County Commissioner Jerry McFarland told The Star that members of the county’s Legislative Committee will take up the matter at their next meeting, although he did not give a date.

“I am not for this because it places additional burdens on the taxpayers of Wilson County for schools and other services in favor of people who have not been paying taxes,” McFarland said.

Tipton County Mayor Jeff Huffman said in an email that commissioners were scheduled to discuss the matter Monday night — but he would offer no other details.

Macon County Mayor Steve Jones said commissioners are not scheduled to discuss the matter.

Instead, I have asked our county attorney to look into it. There have not been any resolutions put together at this time,” Jones said.

When asked why he referred the matter to the county attorney, Jones would only say this:

“Anything like this that goes through our county commission is something we want our county attorney to look into.”

In September, U.S. Republican President Donald Trump issued an executive order that enabled state and local governments to refuse resettling any more refugees in their states or localities.

Lee decided Tennessee will continue to take in refugees.

As reported, Lee cited his Christian faith as one of the reasons.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo l-r: Tipton County Mayor Jeff Huffman, Macon County Mayor Steve Jones, Stewart County Mayor Robin Brandon, Cannon County Commissioner Jim Bush, Wilson County Commissioner Jerry McFarland





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15 Thoughts to “Five More Tennessee Counties May Fight Gov. Bill Lee on Refugees”

  1. Sam Stropp

    Alexander and Lee both are asking for immigrants against the wishes of the people they represent. When election day the people will remember this disgusting deed!!! Democraps dressed in Republican clothes.



  3. Agnes Lamb

    Yes Chattanooga and Hamilton Co.

  4. […] The Star reported Monday, officials in two other counties — Wilson and Cannon — may eventually vote in favor of […]

  5. scary times

    Gov. Bill Lee is a true Christian. HE LIES ! HE DECEIVES ! Bill Lee run on immigration issue. And continues to bring cheap labor into America. To make his neighbors suffer, A fine example of a Christian.

  6. WA2TN

    Tell your State Reps to Support Bruce Griffey’s HB1568 and block RINO Lee, and also get your County Commissioners to commit to deny these fake ‘refugees’

    1. Horatio Bunce

      I think you mean HB1578:

      Why not make the refugee opt-in like the Republicans did the opt-out of forcing the International Residential Codes and state building permits on the counties? 2/3 majority vote is required to allow refugees in and that county resolution expires 180 days after the next commission is elected. Make them perpetually vote with a 2/3 majority to opt in and only a minority (or lack of action) is required to keep them out.

      1. Dal ANDREW

        That suggestion seems based on meritorious thinking. Do you have draft language for adding it to ‘No Consent’ resolutions being discussed?

  7. 83ragtop50

    How about being county #6, Sumner County commission? Sounds like smart action to me.

  8. Robin Brandon

    In Stewart County last night we passed two Resolutions. One to be designated a 2A Sanctuary County and one for No Refugee Resettlements. Stewart County Mayor Robin Brandon.

    1. Horatio Bunce

      Thanks for posting Mayor.

      I don’t guess we’ll be seeing Gibson County post the same on here…..they have a new Tyson plant to open this year. If it is going to be “coyote-smuggled illegals”-free from the start, then they will “need” the refugees. Like Shelbyville.

      1. Howard Ellison

        With the new Tyson plant opening, looks like people of the Humboldt, Gibson Country area would want jobs instead of letting ILLEGALS get them??

  9. Stuart I. Anderson

    We have a number of county commissioners here in Williamson County who tout their conservatism while running for office but alas have little occasion to prove it in the day to day workings of local government. What a wonderful opportunity Gov. Lee has given them to burnish their conservative credentials by sponsoring, or at the very least supporting, “Thanks, But No Thanks” resolutions declining to accept refugees in Williamson County.

    They’d be surprised how handy it may be in the future to actually have a conservative record come election time against merely talking about having a conservative record or promising to get a conservative record. Just ask Chairman Manny!

  10. Julie

    Gov. Lee, you can”t use the top-down approach as an elected official that may have served you well in your business ventures. We liked you because of your experience and hoped that would be applied to your decision making. I believe if you don’t make some important changes you are going to be a one term governor.

  11. Jean Raspail

    Wise decision by those county leaders.