The federal government of the United States is forcing states to stand up and so NO! On February 22nd in Tennessee, the state senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 467 which asks the Tennessee’s Attorney General, Herbert H. Slatery, III to file a lawsuit accusing the federal government of overstepping its bounds using the 10th Amendment as the cornerstone of the case.
Majority Leader Sen. Mark Norris (R-Collierville), answered any and all questions on the floor. Amongst them was a question if the resolution mandates the state Attorney General to take action. It was clarified that this is a request and as such does not mandate the AG to take action.
Specifically it asks Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery “to initiate or intervene in one or more civil actions on behalf of the State of Tennessee or, in the alternative, seek appropriate relief in a federal court of competent jurisdiction” in the matter.
Tennessee is only the third state to take action against the federally implemented placement of Syrian “refugees” whom the federal government requested be primarily Muslim.
Tennessee and Alabama were also co-plaintiffs with Texas in their action against President Obama’s Executive Order for Amnesty which was fought against and won just four months ago (Nov. 9, 2015). That winning argument had a total of 26 states against as co-plaintiffs against the President of the United States.
Tennessee is also one of 12 states that had taken an action against receivership of more refugees in the state by formally withdrawing from the US Refugee Resettlement Program in 2008. The Federal government by passed the government of Tennessee’s refusal by selecting a private agency to run the program in the state, forcing Tennessee to absorb more refugees. The program in the 12 states is called the Wilson-Fish alternative program.
Refugees enter these states with federal financial assistance for 8 months. Granted the person in the refugee program are supposed to get jobs and keep them, that is not always the case, especially in an economic environment with high unemployment. Add to that the additional difficulty for refugees who do not speak English.
Local school districts are expected to provide English as a Second Language teachers to assist school age students also from day 1 and no federal program exists to provide financial assistance to school districts receiving refugees resulting in higher taxation in the state and localities.
Wilson-Fish states seem to have standing to refuse any placement of refugees in the state simply because the federal government by forcing them to receive refugees is violating the 10th Amendment. Given that this is a simple winnable argument it is likely all the Wilson-Fish states will follow the lead of Tennessee.