Tennessee is challenging the constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program, claiming that the state’s sovereignty is violated by being forced to spend taxpayer dollars on a program in which it does not participate. Thomas More Law Center, a non-profit public interest law firm, will represent Tennessee in the lawsuit.
Under the federal Refugee Act of 1980, states have very few rights in terms of the placement of refugees. The federal government is supposed to consult with states but that often is not done. After federal aid runs out, states and/or local governments must pick up the cost of social services. Most states run their own refugee placement and aid programs but some like Tennessee opted out. In such instances, the feds appoint a voluntary agency (VOLAG) to operate the program. Catholic Charities for Tennessee was selected.
Even though Tennessee does not participate in the program, its taxpayers are forced to pay for a number of social services delivered to the refugees that are settled by Catholic Charities. Under the Tennessee constitution, only the state legislature can approve funds but the state has been told it has no recourse.
According the State Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris the lawsuit is seeking declaratory relief in that it, “… offers a unique mechanism by which advocates may seek to remedy ongoing violations of statutory or constitutional law. Sometimes it’s cast in the nature of a friendly lawsuit to bring clarity to an otherwise cloudy situation.”
Read more in Breitbart News.
Updated: Tue, Mar 28th 2017 @ 4:05pm EDT