Senator Roberts On Syrian Refugee Resettlements In Tennessee
SPRINGFIELD TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) – In response to concerns over Syrian refugee resettlement’s in Tennessee, Senator Kerry Roberts (R-Springfield) issued the following statement:
As Americans, we have a long history of welcoming those fleeing oppression and tyranny. In times past, we had little fear that our generosity and compassion could or would bring harm to America. Now, as the horrific events in France demonstrate, terrorists can and will pose as refugees to bring death and destruction to Western countries.
Since the United States Refugee Act of 1980, critical issues have arisen in the administration of refugee programs. First and foremost, who is admitted as a refugee to the United States has been surrendered to the U.N. and non-governmental organizations which are paid for each refugee they bring to a community.
Background checks are practically meaningless, growth is uncontrolled, costly benefits in the form of healthcare, welfare, and housing subsidies are being funded by
taxpayers, and the list goes on. To say it is a well-intended program out of control and with little accountability is a substantial understatement.
In 2008, then-Governor Bredesen gave up Tennessee’s right to manage and administer refugee resettlement programs in Tennessee. Thus, refugee resettlement programs in Tennessee are managed and administered by non-governmental organizations such as Catholic Charities and other organizations WITH LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY. It is noteworthy that these organizations are paid per refugee yet – despite most refugees using TennCare and other state-funded resources – the organizations do not report any meaningful data to the Tennessee General Assembly regarding state resources used.
What can we do?
First, the Tennessee General Assembly needs to require any resettlement program in Tennessee to give full accounting of how many refugees are brought to the state and the cost of any resettlement to the State of Tennessee. Attempts were made to collect this data in 2013 and were defeated by pro-immigration forces. We have a duty to hold ANYONE who receives taxpayer funds accountable – and I absolutely will not back down in the face of efforts made by those who utilize that money and don’t want to be held accountable to taxpayers.
Second, demand our federal congressional delegation take urgent action by co-sponsoring HR3314. Other actions include the immediate (e.g. suspending refugee resettlement from Syria) and the long-term (e.g. fixing systemic problems in the Refugee Act of 1980).
Third, I am working with my Senate colleagues to convene a meeting with experts on both state and federal refugee resettlement programs to identify further steps we can take.
In closing, part of America’s greatness is her compassion for those in need. As President Reagan said in his farewell address, “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.” With common sense and resolve, we can still be that shining city welcoming the weary and oppressed while protecting our citizens against those who would do us harm.
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