More legislation misrepresented by TIRRC
TIRRC says the Refugee Absorptive Capacity Act (RACA) is anti-refugee. Legislators codified the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement regulations into state law because of lax enforcement and oversight by the responsible federal agency. These are the same regulations being defended by federal contractors like Catholic Charities of Tennessee. TIRRC should start complaining to the federal government about these federal regulations.
TIRRC and other opponents were outraged that the bill allowed a community to request a moratorium on initial resettlement based on the ability to absorb and provide for new refugees. The progressive pro-refugee Migration Policy Institute says that if a state opposes a refugee resettlement agency’s proposed plan, the State Department “will not approve it.” A U.S. Senate Committee said that when local community stakeholders disagree about a proposed resettlement plan, “state refugee coordinator should be able to request a moratorium for the community.”
But you don’t hear TIRRC complaining about either of these positions. The “coordinated campaign” they complain about is coming from their own advocates and the federal government.
After the RACA bill was passed, David Robinson, U.S. State Department acting Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, traveled all the way to Nashville to meet with state legislators and the lobbyist for Catholic Charities. Regarding the bill, Robinson said, ‘[t]o us, the way that that has actually been written into law here in Tennessee makes perfect sense.”
In 2000 David Robinson exposed the conflict-of-interest relationship between the federal government and the private refugee resettlement contractors:
“…ten agencies [the refugee resettlement NGOs], including the IRC [an NGO called the International Rescue Committee], form a single body called the Committee on Migration and Refugee Affairs (CMRA). The CMRA wields enormous influence over the Administration’s refugee admissions policy. It lobbies the Hill effectively to increase the number of refugees admitted for permanent resettlement each year and at the same time provides overseas processing for admissions under contract to the State Department. In fact, the federal government provides about ninety percent of its collective budget. If there is a conflict of interest, it is never mentioned.”
Refugee advocate Chris Coen’s comments about Tennessee’s bill:
“[a]lso interesting is why other government refugee program-related regulations and contract requirements are also regularly ignored. World Relief [which operates in Tennessee], feels free to worship on the public’s nickel, even though its prohibited by a federal regulation, and their ORR partner has ignored our complaint about that practice. Also, the quite minimal ‘minimum requirements’ that the resettlement agencies agree to meet in the refugee program are regularly flouted, and the State Department refugee office does not enforce those requirements or penalize the resettlement contractors. In practice this does not seem to have been working well for decades — the resettlement contractors just continue to violate regulations and contract requirements year after year.”
During discussion of this bill, federal contractor and refugee state coordinator, Holly Johnson was adamant that refugees were never resettled by the contractors in Bedford County, home of Senate bill sponsor Jim Tracy. Like many other contradictions to be found in comments made by these groups, the TIRRC report directly contradicts her and says that 13 refugees were resettled in Bedford Co during the time period in question.
When asked, representatives of refugee agencies denied driving their clients to the Tysons plant to compete with the local citizens for the jobs. A 2009 Wall Street Journal article however, verified that refugee resettlement agencies were driving vanloads of refugees from Nashville to the Tysons plant.
The point is, that like the TIRRC report, accuracy for the agencies, is simply an inconvenience. As religious run organizations, isn’t lying prohibited?
TIRRC and its allied groups also object to state legislators properly executing their fiduciary duties in stewarding state revenue. The Enchanced Fiscal Data Gathering Bill was filed in 2013, after legislators learned that the federal government was still taking state revenue to pay for the federal refugee program even after the state withdrew.
The bill’s goal was to determine how much state money was being spent for this federal program. The bill also tried to have federal funds passed through to reimburse the state costs as authorized by the federal Refugee Act of 1980.
A shameless and deliberate disinformation campaign by paid refugee industry representatives and lobbyists prevented the bill from passing.
SB1039/HB670 requiring the reporting related to nonimmigrant students using F-1 and M-1 visas was initiated by the Haslam administration. M-1 visas are for foreign students wanting to attend U.S. vocational and technical schools while F-1 visas are for foreign students wanting to attend any type and/or level of U.S. school.
It has been widely documented that visa overstayers constitute a significant portion of the illegal immigrant population. Additionally, the increase in threats and actual terror attacks, supports this bill as a sound and rational reason to pay attention to students who might be violating the terms of their visas. A top recommendation by the 9/11 commission was to clean up the student visa system since many of the 9/11 attackers were able to enter the U.S. legally using a student visa. Student visas were also used for entry by several involved in the 2006 plot to blow up the New York JFK airport.
But it is no surprise that TIRRC and its allies see a boogeyman in this bill as well. These groups that support illegal immigration have little use for enforcing rules that apply to legal immigration. Stephanie Teatro, TIRRC’s co-director came to the U.S. from Canada on a student visa and then became a community agitator, leading an organization that shows time and again little to no respect for our country’s constitution.
Last year, data-packed testimony in Congress by the RAND Corporation, explained the connection between visa programs and terrorism. This is a very real issue for the U.S. but one that does not serve TIRRC’s anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant narrative.
The 2015 “Andy’s Law” also objected to by TIRRC and their allied groups, passed with an almost unanimous bipartisan vote in both the House and the Senate. The bill was named for Pvt. Andrew Long, murdered in uniform by Memphis jihadist Abdulhakim Mohammed (Carlos Bledsoe). Democrats and Republicans agreed that groups helping terrorists carry out their acts should also be held accountable. It’s hard to figure out why TIRRC opposes punishing terrorists.
TIRRC and Immigration – legal and illegal
TIRRC’s “Countering the Backlash” focuses on the rapid infusion of immigrants, legal and illegal into Tennessee, a location described as “one of America’s unlikely new destinations for immigrants and refugees.” Refugee resettlement has contributed to this growth, but illegal immigration and the depositing of illegal Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) by federal refugee contractors, is completely ignored.
Amnesty for illegal immigrants, is characterized by TIRRC as “family reunification.” Anyone who questions that they have broken the law being here is labeled racist, bigoted, xenophobic and mean-spirited. That is the same tired, Alinsky tactic that law-abiding Americans will no longer tolerate.
TIRRC’s report about refugee resettlement also ignores the legitimacy of rational questions, including constitutional issues. These questions are being raised by Tennessee state legislators about implementation of this federal program in Tennessee. And there are the state costs associated with the program.
TIRRC completely ignores the available data on the high TennCare enrollment and of course wouldn’t dare to mention the national five year data on its high refugee welfare usage. Instead, they follow the lead of the well-paid federal refugee contractors whose businesses would fold if public money was stopped. Instead, TIRRC uses an inconclusive 2013 fiscal review report as a diversion. Federal/state refugee coordinator Holly Johnson, claims the report shows refugees contribute “nearly twice as much” in state taxes as they take out in state-funded public services.
The fiscal report so heavily relied upon by TIRRC and the refugee contractors specifically stated that, “[t]he information necessary to complete a comprehensive study on the possible cost shifting from the federal government to the state for the resettlement of refugees is not available.” The report never answered the what the costs to the state would eventually be.
The federal contractor’s limited data showed that TennCare enrollment of resettled clients between 2009 -2011 actually doubled. In this same time period approximately one-third of Tennessee refugees were found to be non-employable.
The greatest weakness in the report is its assumption that refugees use social services and public assistance programs at the same rate as other Tennessee residents. And, that refugees pay taxes as the same rate as other Tennessee residents. Unfortunately, refugees use social services at higher rates than native-born and earn lower wages. Even the chairman of the House Finance Committee has admitted the report was bogus.
Refguee advocates – protective of the industry
Refugee resettlement is a multi-million dollar industry. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the nine national voluntary agencies (VOLAG), received over $80 million public dollars for their 2014 Refugee and Migration program. Catholic Charities of Tennessee (CCTN) is their local affiliate and has its own refugee resettlement program and operates the Tennessee Office for Refugees where the federally contracted state refugee coordinator works.
These are the two largest dollar programs reported by CCTN.
TIRRC and its allied groups cross-pollinate the boards of each other’s organizations. Foundations and organizations that fund TIRRC and its allied groups have the same end goal – to break the Southern conservative culture standing in the way of open borders, amnesty for illegals and votes for progressives.
These Tennessee groups have expanded their paid staffs and activities that deliberately target the younger members of their communities, since they are easiest to radicalize to the anti-America-as-it-is-now agenda.
You can be sure that with TIRRC’s direct connection to Welcoming America, more of the Partnership for the New American Economy grant money will be flowing into Nashville. The groups are hubbed in Nashville and became entrenched in the mayor’s office during Karl Dean’s administration. New Mayor Megan Barry has ensured that only progressives, socialists, leftists and “new Americans” will direct the policies of her administration and help her complete Nashville’s transformation into an “it” sanctuary city.
They say they must help the oppressed minorities, but the real quest of these groups is political power. Political power will transform the state, city by city and county by county, creating as many blue voters as possible with each election cycle.
TIRRC and its allied groups rally against the Constitution
On February 16, 2016, TIRRC called for opposition to SJR467, a resolution that will enable the state of Tennessee to sue the federal government, challenging the refugee resettlement program in the state. The lawsuit addressed by SJR467 is overdue in light of the Obama administration’s aggressive federal overreach. A Constitutional lawyer described the potential lawsuit as a “landmark case” because of the Tenth Amendment and federalism issues it addresses.