People of Tennessee are sick and tired of being forced to take refugees into their state by the federal government, so now lawmakers are filing a lawsuit against the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of several state lawmakers in the western district of Tennessee, alleges that the 10th Amendment, which says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states, has been violated.
By accusing the federal government of not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, based on the 10th Amendment, Tennessee is the first state to file lawsuit of this 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.
“Plaintiffs will suffer significant and irreparable harm unless this Court intervenes”, the 15-page lawsuit states.
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, reports the Tennessean.
Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition have opposed the lawsuit, saying it will negatively affect the state’s refugee community and perpetuate a culture of fear.
Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the ACLU in Tennessee, said the legislature’s decision is “not only very troubling, but unjust and wrong”
Stephanie Teatro, executive director of the immigrant rights coalition, said that amid the largest refugee crisis since World War II, the president has already brought the resettlement program to a halt.
“Not wanting to be outdone by the federal government, our legislature is proceeding with this extreme lawsuit in hopes of locking the door and throwing away the key” she said in a statement.
“Though this lawsuit is bound to fail in the courts, its very filing assures Tennessee’s place in a very dark chapter of our country’s history,” she added. “But just as the courts will dismiss this lawsuit, Tennesseans will also reject this betrayal of our values and demand real leadership from our elected leaders.”.
Joining the lawsuit are Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster.
“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”, Stevens said in a news release.
Weaver said the legislation was among the most important measures she’s ever worked on.
“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”, Weaver 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”.
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