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house Bill H.R. 546

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.

Loraki's Opinion
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02/20/2017
IT'S A MATTER OF STATES' RIGHTS! Not to mention national security!
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Irene's Opinion
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08/08/2017
Yes. We should take care of the homeless, our orphans, and our veterans before we start bringing in refugees and shipping our money to foreign countries. Let's help our own people first.
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operaman's Opinion
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02/20/2017
Time to support this act. Make resettlement officially up to the state and limited Federal support.
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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.

Paul's Opinion
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08/08/2017
The same people who are bitching and complaining about sanctuary cities because how dare they thumb their noses at federal law, are the same people who want to use this law to thumb their noses at federal law. It's almost as if defying federal law is only cool if you're doing so out of xenophobia and hate, but not if you're doing it out of common human decency.
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Mirek's Opinion
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08/08/2017
That would be unconstitutional. Once a person is admitted to the US they are accorded constitutional protection. That includes the right to travel from state to state. Unless we want to give states the right to turn anyone away from their borders, we can't give them the right to turn away refugees. Do we want to go back to the days of " Grapes of Wrath" when Oakies were not welcome anywhere?
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CatherineCampbell's Opinion
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08/08/2017
We should as a nation finally stand for what we stay we stand for. And that is welcoming refugees, as clearly stated in the poem The New Colossus engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Also a great deal of this country claims to be Christian, Christ says to welcome the stranger into your home. Maybe we should start practicing the things that Christ preached like caring for the sick the poor the homeless The Afflicted and The Strangers. It's always interesting to me that the first ones to stand up and say no to helping people in need seem to be so-called Christian evangelists, and right wing christian extremists. Either be a Christian or admit you're not one. Yes I'm for welcoming anyone in need. I'm for taking care of anyone in need. I'm for helping anyone to be able to improve their lives.
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What is House Bill H.R. 546?

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. 546

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) introduced a version of this bill during the last Congress after a lawsuit filed by Texas against the federal government to prevent refugee resettlement within the state was dismissed. Culberson said the following about the current version of his bill:

“This bill will restore States’ rights against an overreaching federal government, and it gives power back to governor’s to decide how refugee resettlement is handled under their jurisdiction. It is absurd that the federal government has stripped a State’s ability to choose whether to accept refugees or not. Due to lack of records, refugees continue to be a security threat to our nation, but until this legislation passes, the State is at the mercy of the federal government. Governors have a responsibility to protect the people they represent, and this legislation will allow them to fulfill that duty.”

This legislation has the support of five cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.


Of NoteThe 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: Hashoo Foundation USA - Houston, Texas via Flickr / Creative Commons)

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.

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
    IntroducedJanuary 13th, 2017
    IT'S A MATTER OF STATES' RIGHTS! Not to mention national security!
    Like (48)
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    The same people who are bitching and complaining about sanctuary cities because how dare they thumb their noses at federal law, are the same people who want to use this law to thumb their noses at federal law. It's almost as if defying federal law is only cool if you're doing so out of xenophobia and hate, but not if you're doing it out of common human decency.
    Like (59)
    Follow
    Share
    That would be unconstitutional. Once a person is admitted to the US they are accorded constitutional protection. That includes the right to travel from state to state. Unless we want to give states the right to turn anyone away from their borders, we can't give them the right to turn away refugees. Do we want to go back to the days of " Grapes of Wrath" when Oakies were not welcome anywhere?
    Like (53)
    Follow
    Share
    We should as a nation finally stand for what we stay we stand for. And that is welcoming refugees, as clearly stated in the poem The New Colossus engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Also a great deal of this country claims to be Christian, Christ says to welcome the stranger into your home. Maybe we should start practicing the things that Christ preached like caring for the sick the poor the homeless The Afflicted and The Strangers. It's always interesting to me that the first ones to stand up and say no to helping people in need seem to be so-called Christian evangelists, and right wing christian extremists. Either be a Christian or admit you're not one. Yes I'm for welcoming anyone in need. I'm for taking care of anyone in need. I'm for helping anyone to be able to improve their lives.
    Like (42)
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    Share
    Yes. We should take care of the homeless, our orphans, and our veterans before we start bringing in refugees and shipping our money to foreign countries. Let's help our own people first.
    Like (25)
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    Time to support this act. Make resettlement officially up to the state and limited Federal support.
    Like (18)
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    We would have to put a footnote on the Statue of Liberty: "Except for the following states: ....."
    Like (14)
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    More state control. Refugees can be infiltrated with dangerous people and the governors can best determine how they want to vet these refugees.
    Like (13)
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    "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or the people." -U.S. Constitution, 10th Amendment.
    Like (10)
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    The governor should be able to say which refugees can come into the state.
    Like (9)
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    This should be a matter for the states. Not to mention the Governor, effectively the head of the state's executive branch, has a right to know where refugees are being kept within the state of their dominion.
    Like (8)
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    This is just pure common sense. Let the State governments make their own respective decisions on this matter.
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    The decisions regarding refugees must be handled at the federal level.
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    If the federal government has determined that the refugee is not a threat, a second opinion from governors would be inappropriate. Once refugees have made their way through the difficult entry requirements, let's welcome them openly and nurture their success, as this country did for our ancestors.
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    Refugees should be settled where people will welcome them and provide jobs and housing for them. That should be decided by the non-profits that are providing for them, not the governors of the states.
    Like (6)
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    It's up to the communities to accept refugees not the states. What if say Philadelphia is set to welcome refugees but our PA state govenor decides no... So then wounldnt that be infringing of Philadelphia's right to welcome people who have no home, fleeing war and opression? America was founded on immigrents and refugees! Now is not the time to turn them away but accept them more so they can help our country thrive over the alternative that we are starting to do (stop refugees and immigrents which hurts our economy in the short and long run). I believe everyone has a right to call anywhere in the world their home if they chose to live by their local communities laws. But what does this veteran know about anything!
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    When you are permitted to stay in America as a citizen, immigrant or refugee, you are permitted to freely travel/settle in all of America. All those screaming "states rights" - okay get an Alabaman passport or Virginian passport and don't expect to cross borders between states if you don't want to treat this country as a COUNTRY. Citizenship and related matters are federal. States have proven they can't be trusted with human rights issues.
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    Enforcing the border is something the federal government does to protect the states. The federal government would be doing the opposite of protecting the states if it were to force them to house refugees. That is why sanctuary cities are wrong as well as refugee resettlement by the Feds. Unless they resettle all of the refugees in Washington DC?
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    I can see that some people need to read their history more carefully and not jump to emotional conclusions. The poem by Emma Lazarus was placed in the base of the Statue of Liberty AFTER the statue was erected. The gift from France was to honor the United States and be a symbol of freedom. Stop rewriting history!
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    In my opinion this would require an unnecessary amendment to the constitution. Immigration management is a responsibility alloted to the legislative and exevutive branches.
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