Last week the Tennessee House of Representatives voted 72 to 25 to approve HJR741, a resolution in opposition to Governor Lee’s decision to allow refugee resettlement in Tennessee and challenge his power to do so.
This move is the latest in efforts by Tennessee immigration patriots to stop resettlement in their state.
HJR741 reiterates claims made in a similar anti-refugee resolution that Representative Terri Weaver sponsored in 2016. That resolution launched a lawsuit against the federal government challenging its authority to carry out refugee resettlement in Tennessee without the legislature’s consent. Two federal courts threw out lawsuit, and a subsequent appeal in theSixth Circuit Court of Appeals was also rejected.
HJR741 is one of few pieces of legislation introduced in 2020 designed to challenge Governor Lee’s decision to bring in refugees.
Several activists were clearly irked by this resolution.
Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, Policy Director for TIRRC Votes, issued the following statement:
This resolution is election year politics at its worst. Representative Weaver’s resolution does nothing to alter or strengthen the resettlement program, instead it increases skepticism about refugees and re-hashes arguments that have already been settled by the courts and by the General Assembly. There are many things legislators could do to support refugees and invest in the success of all families who call Tennessee home. This resolution accomplishes nothing except to spread misinformation, divide our communities, and make refugee families feel unwelcome. Representative Weaver should spend her time trying to pass legislation that meaningfully improves the lives of her constituents instead of scapegoating refugees.
Last September, President Donald Trump issued an executive order which required governors and county executives planning on resettling refugees to give their consent on the matter.
19 Republican Governors have consented to resettling refugees so far.
Republicans are playing with fire by trying to embrace a moderate form of the refugee mania.
National cohesion is at stake when letting endless waves of migrants — be they refugees, legal workers, or illegals — enter the country.
The Tennessee House should be saluted for exercising sanity on this matter.
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Greg Abbott Signs Executive Order Keeping Violent Criminals from Going Back on the Streets During the Wuhan Crisis
After the Wuhan Virus was confirmed in several Texas jails in the last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on March 29, 2020 that makes it more difficult for several inmates to be let out on “no-cost, personal recognizance bonds.”
Abbott tweeted, “Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails. We want to prevent the spread of #COVID19 among prison staff & inmates. But, releasing dangerous criminals in the streets is not the solution. #txlege #coronavirus”
Today I issued an Executive Order preventing [email protected] of dangerous criminals from prisons & jails.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 30, 2020
Several cases of the Wuhan Virus were discovered in the Dallas County Jail and Harris County Jail last week, two of the state’s largest jails. In addition, a handful of cases were confirmed in state prisons. According to NBC DFW, the virus’ outbreak was “followed by demands to reduce the inmate populations by releasing, immediately and without bond or judicial delay, those held on misdemeanor crimes or awaiting trial on misdemeanor crimes. Some also called for non-violent felons to also be released on no-cost bonds.”
Abbott said Sunday that “releasing dangerous criminals makes the state even less safe” and issued a proclamation to prevent judges, and others, from releasing some inmates without a paid, cash bond.
In his executive order, Abbott declared that a person convicted of a crime that involved or threatened physical violence, or a person arrested for such a crime backed by probable cause, or a person with a criminal history of violent crime, cannot get out of jail on a no-cost personal recognizance bond.
With a PR bond, a defendant is released without having to post any money for his or her bond on the promise they’ll show up to their next court date.
Instead of virtue signaling and buying into the criminal justice reform movement’s desire to foment anarcho-tyranny, Abbott has held his ground by promoting public order.
A crisis like the Wuhan Virus pandemic does not need to be exacerbated by opening up the prison floodgates.
This is one case where American policymakers should use logic not emotion to craft prison policies in times of a pandemic.
Failure to do so will put the U.S. on the road to institutional failure.
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