Twenty two Republican state senators have signed as cosponsors with Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey on a resolution that would make Tennessee the third state to sue the federal government for non-compliance with the Refugee Act of 1980.
The resolution “directs” the state’s attorney general to sue the feds and immediately halt the resettlement of refugees in Tennessee.
Further from The Tennessean:
It has been gaining momentum since it was first introduced on Jan. 21 by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey. Over the past few weeks, the resolution has been adding co-sponsors and, as of Friday, now has as many as 23 of the chamber’s 28 Republicans, including Ramsey, R-Blountville, and Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville.
None of the chamber’s five Democrats have signed on as sponsors of SJR 467.
Opponents call it an extreme measure, while some backers say it is simply about safety.
“The federal government has thus far refused to be a transparent partner in the refugee vetting process,” Ramsey said in a written statement on Friday. “If we are not able to identify potential threats, we cannot adequately protect our citizenry.”
Ramsey said the resolution seeks to allow Tennessee to “once again” assert control over the placement of refugees in the state “in order to ensure our ability to protect our citizens.”
...Although the refugee act requires the federal government to consult with states regarding the placement of refugees before they enter the state, two states — Texas and Alabama — say the feds aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.
In December, Texas became the first state to sue the government for failing to consult with and provide information to state officials, as required by the refugee act.
Last month, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced his state was suing several government agencies, including the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The lawsuit seeks to require the federal government to provide the states with a complete profile, including medical history, of each refugee, as well as a certification that notes that the refugees in the state do not pose a security risk.
Note: The resolution is on notice for a vote Tuesday in Senate Finance Committee.