Tennessee State Representative Glen Casada says that he wants Republican Governor Bill Haslam to call out the National Guard to prevent additional Syrian refugees from entering the state. Further, Casada tells Breitbart News the 30 Syrian refugees settled in the state last year need to be re-vetted and sent back to ICE if they don’t pass muster.
Breitbart “The ISIS headquarters said we are embedding terrorists in refugees and they’re coming to the U.S. The FBI director today said that we may have missed those that are associated with ISIS or are ISIS trained that are currently in the country in our vetting process. All I can do is let those two statements stand,” Casada says. “I’m talking about sending them back to ICE,” he adds.
Tennessee Rep. Sheila Butt has also written a letter to Governor Bill Haslam, urging him to suspend efforts to allow Syrian refugees to settle in the state.
Breitbart News asked how Casada wanted the Tennessee National Guard to deal with the 30 Syrian refugees settled in Tennessee last year by Catholic Charities of Tennessee. “Based on the FBI and ISIS statements, I am greatly concerned they, these 30 Syrian refugees, need to be re-vetted in depth and go back to ICE if they don’t pass that re-vetting.”
Casada set off a firestorm Tuesday when he told the Tennessean, “We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them [Syrian refugees] from coming in to the state by whatever means we can,” Casada told the Tennessean on Tuesday.
“I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks. … We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours,’” Casada added.
Tennessee is one of twelve states where the Wilson-Fish amendment to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1984 allows the State Department to run the resettlement of refugees through contractors with virtually no input from the State Government. In 2008, then Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, opted out of a state role for the resettlement of refugees.
Since that time, Catholic Charities of Tennessee, a contractor with the State Department, has been in charge of the resettlement of refugees in the State.
According to recent reports, Catholic Charities settled 1,651 refugees in the State of Tennessee in FY 2015. 30 of these refugees were from Syria. More than 200 were from Somalia and Iraq, respectively.
Breitbart News asked Holly Johnson, head of Catholic Charities of Tennessee’s Office of Tennessee Refuge Resettlement, if the agency would comply with orders from the National Guard to remove Syrian refugees from the state. She answered: “While I will not engage in speculative responses on hypothetical situations, I can assure you that we operate the refugee resettlement program in full compliance with both state and federal laws, and will continue to do so in the future.”