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house Bill H.R. 5804

Do Governors Need the Final Say Before Refugees are Settled in Their States?

Argument in favor

States should be able to turn away refugees if they don’t want them to be resettled in their communities, and requiring a governor’s approval will ensure that the people’s wishes are fulfilled.

08/31/2016
The reason liberals give for wanting to take in thousands of Syrian refugees is “It’s the right thing to do” and “America has always welcomed immigrants.” Liberals are committing fraud by appealing to your heart, instead of your brain. But this is what a liberal does, they base their arguments on emotion, not fact. They are leaving out the fact that everything in America has changed. America used to be prosperous. Now we have over 92 million working-age Americans not working, with 107 million Americans on welfare or other government entitlements, and we have over $21 trillion in debt. You also can’t compare today to the early 1900′s. Because back then there was no welfare, Social Security, Medicare, disability or food stamps. Immigrants came to America to work. Today we are a welfare nation. People come here to take advantage of us. Today we can’t afford to take in thousands of unskilled, uneducated, hopelessly poor refugees who will require billions of dollars in assistance from day one. Where is the money coming from? I'll give you a hint. You. That's who. How's that for fact.
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KodeeCahill's Opinion
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08/31/2016
We should take every chance we can to allow states more control over their own affairs.
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Loraki's Opinion
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08/31/2016
YES! DEFINITELY! SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR STATES' RIGHTS! QUIT FORCING THEM ON US! WE CANNOT AFFORD TO ADD MORE TO OUR WELFARE ROLLS; NOR CAN WE AFFORD TO JUST OPEN OUR COUNTRY TO POTENTIAL TERRORISTS AND OTHER FORMS OF JIHAD (LEGAL, CULTURAL, AND ECONOMIC) JUST TO PLEASE GEORGE SOROS AND HIS OPEN BORDERS CABAL, HILLARY CLINTON, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, VALERIE JARRETT, HUMA ABEDIN, CAIR, AND THE REST OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY HERE IN THE U.S.A. WE HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE WITH ILLEGAL ALIENS AND THE TERRORISTS YOU HAVE ALREADY LET IN! WE DO NOT NEED TO IMITATE THE INSANE POLICIES OF EUROPE! THAT IS LIKE CUTTING OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE! WE DO NOT WANT ANYMORE NO-GO ZONES, MUSLIM RAPE GANGS, AND PEOPLE TRYING TO PUSH ISLAM AND SHARIAH LAW DOWN OUR THROATS! I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST LETTING IN LEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO SHARE AMERICAN VALUES. MUSLIMS DO NOT; THAT IS JUST A FACT! I HAVE KNOWN MANY MUSLIMS IN MY LIFE (pre-9/11), I HAVE READ THE QUR'AN, AND I HAVE STUDIED THE HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST, SO I AM NOT IGNORANT ON THE SUBJECT.
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Argument opposed

Refugees admitted to the U.S. should be welcomed with open arms, not told that certain states or cities won’t let them live in their communities. They’re fleeing oppression, not spreading it.

Alex's Opinion
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08/31/2016
In addition to this proposal being an effective capitulation to terrorism and carrying an undertone of racism/Islamophobia, strikes me their might be some constitutional issues here. First, immigration is clearly under the purview of the federal government. Second, once someone is an approved resident of one state, they have freedom of movement domestically via full-faith-and-credit between the states. This proposal subtly undermines the union of our states by suggesting individuals might be legal residents of some states, but not others, and cutting away at the principle of a shared foreign policy.
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Melissa's Opinion
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09/01/2016
Immigration is a federal issue, according to our constitution. States do not have the right to refuse immigrants, particularly for what will most likely be partisan, political, racist, or hysterical reasons.
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PaulieMike's Opinion
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08/31/2016
States don't have immigration authority, although, notification should be mandatory.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJuly 14th, 2016

What is House Bill H.R. 5804?

This bill would require the federal government to get permission from state governors before resettling refugees in their states. The Office of Refugee Resettlement would also be prohibited from placing refugees in a locality if that community’s law discourage refugee resettlement.

The Office of Refugee Resettlement is a part of the Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), and assist refugees seeking to come to the U.S. in the relocation process and provide services for people who have been granted asylum.

Impact

Communities that have laws discouraging refugee resettlement; states; governors; and the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 5804

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) introduced this bill after a lawsuit filed by Texas against the federal government to prevent refugee resettlement within the state was dismissed. Culberson cited potential security concerns and a willingness to let states govern themselves as reasons for sponsoring this legislation:

“It is unbelievable that the power for governors to choose what happens within their own State has been stripped by the federal government. Despite the fact that refugees could pose a serious security threat, governors have no choice but to accept these individuals. Governors have a responsibility to act in the best interest of their constituents, but until this legislation passes, their hands have been tied by the federal government.”

This legislation has five Republican cosponsors in the House.


Of Note: The Office of Refugee Resettlement has resettled over 3 million refugees since 1975, with more than three-fourths of them coming from Southeast Asia or the former Soviet Union. On average, annual refugee admissions have ranged between a low of 27,100 in 2002 and a high of 207,116 in 1980.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user Hashoo Foundation USA - Houston, Texas)

AKA

No Resettlement Without Consent Act

Official Title

To amend section 412(a)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act to require the Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement to obtain the approval of the Governor of a State before placing or resettling a refugee with the State, and for other purposes.

    The reason liberals give for wanting to take in thousands of Syrian refugees is “It’s the right thing to do” and “America has always welcomed immigrants.” Liberals are committing fraud by appealing to your heart, instead of your brain. But this is what a liberal does, they base their arguments on emotion, not fact. They are leaving out the fact that everything in America has changed. America used to be prosperous. Now we have over 92 million working-age Americans not working, with 107 million Americans on welfare or other government entitlements, and we have over $21 trillion in debt. You also can’t compare today to the early 1900′s. Because back then there was no welfare, Social Security, Medicare, disability or food stamps. Immigrants came to America to work. Today we are a welfare nation. People come here to take advantage of us. Today we can’t afford to take in thousands of unskilled, uneducated, hopelessly poor refugees who will require billions of dollars in assistance from day one. Where is the money coming from? I'll give you a hint. You. That's who. How's that for fact.
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    In addition to this proposal being an effective capitulation to terrorism and carrying an undertone of racism/Islamophobia, strikes me their might be some constitutional issues here. First, immigration is clearly under the purview of the federal government. Second, once someone is an approved resident of one state, they have freedom of movement domestically via full-faith-and-credit between the states. This proposal subtly undermines the union of our states by suggesting individuals might be legal residents of some states, but not others, and cutting away at the principle of a shared foreign policy.
    Like (100)
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    Immigration is a federal issue, according to our constitution. States do not have the right to refuse immigrants, particularly for what will most likely be partisan, political, racist, or hysterical reasons.
    Like (65)
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    We should take every chance we can to allow states more control over their own affairs.
    Like (43)
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    YES! DEFINITELY! SHOW SOME RESPECT FOR STATES' RIGHTS! QUIT FORCING THEM ON US! WE CANNOT AFFORD TO ADD MORE TO OUR WELFARE ROLLS; NOR CAN WE AFFORD TO JUST OPEN OUR COUNTRY TO POTENTIAL TERRORISTS AND OTHER FORMS OF JIHAD (LEGAL, CULTURAL, AND ECONOMIC) JUST TO PLEASE GEORGE SOROS AND HIS OPEN BORDERS CABAL, HILLARY CLINTON, BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, VALERIE JARRETT, HUMA ABEDIN, CAIR, AND THE REST OF THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY HERE IN THE U.S.A. WE HAVE ENOUGH TROUBLE WITH ILLEGAL ALIENS AND THE TERRORISTS YOU HAVE ALREADY LET IN! WE DO NOT NEED TO IMITATE THE INSANE POLICIES OF EUROPE! THAT IS LIKE CUTTING OFF YOUR NOSE TO SPITE YOUR FACE! WE DO NOT WANT ANYMORE NO-GO ZONES, MUSLIM RAPE GANGS, AND PEOPLE TRYING TO PUSH ISLAM AND SHARIAH LAW DOWN OUR THROATS! I HAVE NOTHING AGAINST LETTING IN LEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO SHARE AMERICAN VALUES. MUSLIMS DO NOT; THAT IS JUST A FACT! I HAVE KNOWN MANY MUSLIMS IN MY LIFE (pre-9/11), I HAVE READ THE QUR'AN, AND I HAVE STUDIED THE HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST, SO I AM NOT IGNORANT ON THE SUBJECT.
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    If the people of the state do not want refugees, it is the Governor's duty to see that this is enforced.
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    States don't have immigration authority, although, notification should be mandatory.
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    If the people of a state do not want heightened risk of terrorism, they should not be made to by the federal government.
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    YES YES YES. If the President wants to dump refugees from 3rd world countries with no ability to assimilate into DC, he can do that. But the States should have the ultimate authority to accept or deny entry to refugees as they deem appropriate for their States.
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    Absolutely... I hope that Alabama stands strong for the settling of ANY immigrant(s) that lacks proper documentation. Especially with the Vast amount of immigrants coming to America. I think personally... All Illegal immigrants should be welcomed to Mr. Presidents home/Lawn to reside, he opened Borders to people that has no American LOVE for our Country and Wishes us harm daily!!! I fear our differences in Culture and Beliefs will place us WORLDS apart. This could be a devastating mistake that will leave Every American feeling unsafe and betrayed by the man that opened our Borders
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    Tenth Amendment
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    Yea, if they have a set and two legs to stand. But then Governor's have been known as pushovers for cash.
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    Where are these people going to live? Without someone paying, they are trespassers. If they were a guest in my house, I'd be responsible both for their care and behavior. Public housing? That's a state expense, governors represent the people, called federalism (long since dead, though still in the Constitution), and the people should have a say if they have to pay.
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    They will be the ones held responsible if things go wrong; they are responsible to and for their states. Who immigrated to a state should possibly not even be a federal decision or a state decision for that matter, unless the federal government is trying to immigrate people into a state.
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    Don't let dangerous people in our cities without telling us
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    This will both help limit federal power as well as slow the tide of refugees
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    States don't have closed borders! Governors don't approve who moves into their states--changing it now just because the refugees are brown is blatantly racist
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    Absolutely not. To be recognized as a refugee isn't a spa vacation or winning big playing horses. These are people whose very lives are threatened. As such, any Governor even mentioning or desiring to refuse refugees might as well be pissing on the Status of Liberty and the principles of this nation (and certainly doesn't know crap about Emma Lazarus either). LET THEM IN NOW!
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    While I am in support of the states having more control, I believe that there are certain issues that are appropriately decided at a higher level because of the overall effects it has on ALL states and citizens; this issue being one of them. While I understand that many may approach this issue from an emotional perspective, we need to acknowledge and understand that the refugee intake affects our citizens in so many ways, i.e., security and financial, to mention a few. During these times, we can no longer continue to do so. Having said this, we can offer our help by supporting the idea of safe zones within their respective countries.
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    Seeing that our country is made up of States that have their own set of rules, the leader of that state should get the final say. But that should only come at the will of the people living in that state with the governor being the voice of that will. I would argue though that the Federal government should incentivise States that do so simply because the decision to take in refugees in the first place came from the head of the government.
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