Gov. Bill Lee Silent on Additional Afghan Refugees Relocating to Tennessee


The Tennessee-based Bridge Refugee Services is preparing to accept more Afghan refugees and send them to East Tennessee.

The Tennessee Star twice on Wednesday contacted Governor Bill Lee’s communications staff to ask for comment and to ask what action, if any, he deemed necessary to respond to new Afghan refugees.

Lee’s staff did not reply to either request.

Bridge Refugee Services Executive Director Drocella Mugorewera agreed to answer our questions via phone Wednesday — before the line was somehow disconnected.

“We will welcome them [the Afghan refugees],” Mugorewera said.

“The federal government sent them to us.”

The Star then asked how many Afghan refugees she and her organization plan to relocate to East Tennessee. Several seconds of silence followed. The phone connection was severed. Subsequent attempts to call Mugorewera again were unsuccessful.

According to the Knoxville-based WVLT, Bridge Refugee Services is a non-profit.

Drocella told the station this week that she and other group members “are training volunteers until the federal government confirms how many refugees will be sent to their Knoxville and Chattanooga locations, as well as when they will be arriving.”

Bridge confirmed late last month that on August 12th, two Afghan people were relocated to East Tennessee,” WVLT reported.

Lee did not publicly state late last month whether he wants Tennessee to take in Afghan refugees. Two of the state’s other top Republicans, however, made their opinions known.

Tennessee Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton (R-Crossville) said he doubted whether taking in Afghan refugees is wise.

“I do not have confidence in the Biden administration’s vetting process concerning the refugee issue, much less his ability to work with law enforcement and immigration officials,” Sexton said.

“His administration has been a failure on both immigration and foreign policy. Therefore, I do not think it is a good idea for Tennessee to accept Afghan refugees.”

Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge), meanwhile, said it’s important that the government “halt illegal immigration, protect our borders and limit those entering our nation.”

“Afghanistan is a unique situation. For nearly 20 years, we have had a significant military presence there and solicited help from many inside the country to fight against the Taliban,” McNally said.

“Those that helped us are now at risk. Our nation should do everything it can to assist legitimate and authentic political refugees from Afghanistan in finding new places to call home.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]








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18 Thoughts to “Gov. Bill Lee Silent on Additional Afghan Refugees Relocating to Tennessee”

  1. SpiderMike46

    Only 7% of Afghan refugees actually helped our efforts in Afghanistan so why are we taking these people. So much for our “conservative” governor. I live in East Tennessee and I’d rather have a damn California liberal move to my town. At least then I know what I’m dealing with.

  2. GW in TN

    Two Thoughts:

    1) Refuse to even consider accepting any refugees until the Covid mandate is removed.
    2) How long until a refugee commits an act of terrorism upon an innocent Tennessean?

  3. Jay

    We had a terrorist attack in Chattanooga with zero accountability. No more refugees.

  4. 83ragtop50

    It is obvious that Lee only has a big heart for foreigners while dumping on Tennessee citizens. I suppose that can happen when one has so much money that one is not required to live like us little people. He has got to go.

  5. Tim Price

    Any refugee coming to America should be vetted to ensure that we are not introducing terrorist to our country. We can’t afford to have people that will not work and be good citizens.

    I have no faith that the Biden administration cares about terrorists or good citizens.

    We have to take care of ourselves.

  6. Chris

    Governor Lee is silent, period.

    I voted for him because he was the only adult in the room in the GOP primary, but he has not led us well.

    We have a state which is like Texas or Florida. We need a governor like they have.

  7. Wolf Woman

    I agree with all the comments here.

    And would like to add: Bill Lee seems to be greedy and a conformist, a Babbitt (see Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis) who thinks that more $$$ will solve all our problems. That puts him in the camp of the Materialists while he calls himself a Christian. So he’s a hypocrite too.

  8. Beatrice Shaw

    Good for this Governor!! The Republican with a heart!!

    1. Tim Price

      It seems that all liberals can do is to accuse Conservatives of being uncaring or racists.

      So sad that all you want is to accept everyone despite their backgrounds.

      I guess you don’t care about our country’s future.

    2. Steve Allen

      The heart is the source of emotions, the mind is the source of reality. My rights don’t end where you emotions start. To use the worn out cliche of the stupid leftists…but if it only saves one life!

  9. C. M.

    Our Government hates it’s constituents. We do not want or have resources for any more dependents.

  10. Mike

    This governor should be voted out of office. He is not a leader and lacks a spine.

    1. Kitty Lenoir

      Agree 100% weak governor on most everything we value, including immigration.

  11. CMinTN

    We need to boycott any businesses assisting these invaders. These are people who sided with an invading force against their own country, lost, and now want to hide here. They have proven they have no loyalties. They need to be put under surveillance by “We the People.” If they are housed on bases, we need eyes and ears recording their movements, same goes for “non proffit” halfway houses.

  12. rick

    NO MORE REFUGEES! The out of state move ins are overwhelming. enough, o’ spineless one!

  13. Ms Independent

    He will allow them to come to Tennessee and get free everything but stopped federal unemployment payments to those Tennesseans who lost their permanent jobs at no fault of their own due to Covid19 mandatory shutdowns. Lee is a disgrace

  14. Steve Allen

    I would like to point out some issues that make the relocation of Afghan refugees to Tennessee a bad idea.

    While I agree that those who assisted America during the Afghan war deserve our support, I have less than zero confidence that the Biden administration has the intelligence or skill to properly vet these people. I have no doubt that very bad men have gained entry to America.

    I have read of two surveys of Afghan citizens who were asked if they supported sharia law, and in both cases an overwhelming majority said yes they would be happy to live under sharia law. This is very bad news for women. All you have to do is look at the problems in Europe that are due to the huge influx of Muslims. Look at Malmo, Sweden for example. In many EU countries there are numerous sexual assaults against women by these Muslim immigrants.

    The Muslim religion is not compatible with Christianity. You are delusional if you think otherwise. What I find so ironic (or is it just plain liberal stupidity) is that the left is so in favor of bringing all of these people to America, but these same people hate homosexuality and treat women as second class citizens. Again, all you have to do is look at the social problems plaguing many EU countries to see what will happen in America if we follow the same path.

    The wealthy elite ruling class (that would be the entrenched politicians in Washington D.C.among others) are so secluded from the reality of us Peons that they will not be the ones who suffer the consequences of their actions. But then again it is my firm belief that the left is intentionally doing all they can to completely destroy America’s economy and way of life.

    This is not to say that all Muslim people are bad, but anyone who believes what has happened in Europe will not happen here is a damn fool.

  15. Bill Lee is/has been reveled to be a RINO/Liberal, imo. From his ten pints, to welcoming, to swimming in the politics of the Zukerbergs, Boombergs, Gates Facebook, to he and Speaker of the House stopping E-Verify of Illegal Alien for Employer of less than 50 Employees a Trap filled not Constitutional Carry/Constitutional Carry ( a lie) Law Let in more Liberals, more Illegals and so on. Liberal Big Global Business now runs Tennessee. Tennesseans do not want the Illegals or unvetted ad possibly dangerous Afghan Nationals. But no one is asking or consulting with the People. It is as if we do to exist.