While many U.S. states such as Texas have sued the federal government in regards to the controversial topic of refugee resettlement recently, Tennessee became the first in the nation on Monday to sue in regards to violating the 10th amendment and the Refugee Act of 1980.
Citing that the federal government has violated the 10th amendment and failed to comply with the Refugee Act of 1980, which states the federal government only has the powers delegate and that all other powers are reserved by the individual states under the constitution.
Additionally, Tennessee states that the federal government is forcing the state to bear the burden of costs associated with the resettlement of refugees, causing individual states to “suffer significant and irreparable harm unless this Court intervenes.”
The charge that the federal government is not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, based on the 10th Amendment, makes Tennessee’s lawsuit the first of its kind. Other states have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement but on different legal grounds.
The lawsuit argues that the federal government has unduly forced states to pay for the refugee resettlement program. The federal refugee act was designed to create a permanent procedure for the admission of refugees into the United States.
The lawsuit asks the court to force the federal government to stop resettling refugees in Tennessee until all costs associated with the settlement are incurred by the federal government.
The state’s lawsuit is brought by the Thomas More Law Center, a Michigan-based legal group that has taken on several conservative legal causes in recent years.
“The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to force me as the elected representative of the 24th Senate District to implement federal programs while they sit in Washington insulated from the consequences,” [Sen. John Stevens] said in a news release.
“The only way we can get back to our constitutional beginnings and the intent birthed by our Founding Fathers is to go and take it back,” [Rep. Terri Lynn Weave] said. “We are looking forward to linking arms with the Thomas More Law Center for the long haul to regain sovereignty for our great state.”
“Operation of the federal refugee resettlement program commandeers Tennessee’s funds through Medicaid with the threatened loss of nearly $7 billion, amounting to 20 percent of its overall state budget — money that is needed to fund services that are critical to the health and welfare of countless Tennesseans,” the lawsuit states.
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