Alabama has become the second state to sue the federal government alleging that it has failed to “consult” with state officials while secretly placing foreign refugees into communities.
The suit claims the Obama administration has violated the terms of the Refugee Act of 1980, which says the federal government “shall consult regularly” with states before placing refugees.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley told the Associated Press the lawsuit was filed Thursday, following a similar suit by Texas a month ago.
But an expert on the 1980 law governing refugee resettlement told WND that neither suit stands a chance of stopping the flow of refugees into Texas or Alabama.
Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, said his organization is not involved in either the Texas or the Alabama cases because he believes there is a stronger case to be made on the grounds of the 10th Amendment.
“They filed a suit on the grounds that the feds have failed to consult with the state on the location of refugees in the state, and failure to consult is a term that has no real definition to it. Texas has filed a similar suit that thus far has not gone anywhere,” Thompson said. “Thomas More Law Center’s position is that there is a constitutional claim and that claim is based on the 10th Amendment.”
Bentley is one of more than two-dozen Republican governors who opposed the settlement of Syrian refugees in their states after the Nov. 13 jihadist attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.
About 80 GOP congressmen have also signed on to co-sponsor a bill by Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, which would halt all refugee resettlement until the program can undergo a full investigation into its costs and its risks to national security.
But the U.S. State Department has continued distributing Muslim refugees into more than 180 U.S. cities and towns. They come not only from Syria and Iraq, but from Somalia, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma and other countries with active jihadist movements.
At least one of the eight Paris attackers was believed to have entered Europe as a refugee.
A stronger response is ready and waiting for a taker
The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Thomas More Law Center has been working since June to prepare a case that would challenge the constitutionality of federal authority over the refugee program. The program is administered by the U.S. State Department along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The 10th Amendment guarantees states certain rights that are not spelled out in the Constitution as belonging to the federal government.
Under the Alabama and Texas suits, even if the states win, Thompson said the federal government would be allowed to continue sending unwanted refugees into those states.
“The feds are going to say ‘OK, we’re consulting, we’ve consulted with you and we’re going to do it,’ and the federal government has already made the statement that the states have no rights to refuse refugees,” Thompson said. “The word ‘consultation’ is so vague that if federal government calls whatever state representative and says, ‘OK, we’re going to send 10 refugees to the state of Alabama and they’ve all been checked out,’ and the state says no, it has no impact.”
That’s because “consultation” doesn’t mean “agreement,” Thompson said. “It just means you have to talk to somebody.”
Can Obama commandeer state budgets?’
These suits by the governors of Texas and Alabama have removed the possibility of the state “to just say no” to the influx of refugees, Thompson said.
“But under the 10th Amendment we would claim that the Constitution says the federal government in no way has the right to commandeer state funds to fund or promote a federal program,” he said. “And that argument goes to the fact that once the refugee comes into the state, all kinds of state taxpayer money is being used to take care of the welfare of that refugee.”
Take Medicaid, for example. For every $2 the federal government spends, the state must spend $1.
“And there’s no way the state can control what its budget will be because they don’t know how many refugees are coming from one year to the next,” Thompson said. “The (Obama administration) can’t treat the state as a department of the federal government, saying, ‘We’re going to decide this many refugees are coming into your state, and you have to take care of them.’ Every state has control over its own budget but now you have the federal government dictating how much will be spent on refugees.”
Texas was the first state to sue the Obama administration over refugee resettlement, filing a suit last month to try to block six Syrian refugees from being resettled in Dallas.
To illustrate the way the federal government blackmails states, Thompson again used the example of Medicaid.
“Medicaid funding is a huge percentage of the state budget, but if the state refuses to allow all of the refugees into the Medicaid program, all federal funding for Medicaid is taken away,” he said. “So these are very serious constitutional issues that should be decided by a federal court.”
The federal government has seized control of state budgets with most states now funded between 30 and 50 percent by Washington.
“So, these claims by Texas and Alabama may get the federal government to give them some information. But at the end of the day, the refugees will still be coming in, and state taxpayer funds will still be involved in taking care of the refugees,” Thompson said.
Looking for a governor with guts
Thompson said the Thomas More Law Center has still not found a state governor willing to challenge the constitutionality of the refugee program on 10th Amendment grounds.
“We are still promoting it. And there are some states that have expressed an interest, but I don’t want to give those names out yet,” he said. “It’s more, as is the case many times, they want to talk about the issue, but they don’t want to take any strong action.”
The Thomas More Law Center defends and promotes America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and moral values, including the religious freedom of Christians, family values and the sanctity of human life. It supports a strong national defense and an independent and sovereign United States of America. The law center accomplishes its mission through litigation, education and related activities. It does not charge for its services.