Panel: Should States Be Able to Opt Out of the Refugee Resettlement Program?

By CIS on March 14, 2018

The Center for Immigration Studies hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday, March 20, focusing on the Refugee Resettlement Program and its impact on states and localities. The starting point for conversation was the recent report by Center Fellow Don Barnett providing a history of the states' interactions with the refugee program and recommendations for better defining the state role.

Even if states withdraw from the refugee resettlement program, the federal government simply pays private organizations to settle refugees in those states, generating the same costs to be borne by state taxpayers. Richard Thompson of the Thomas More Law Center will discussed the lawsuit his center filed on behalf of the state of Tennessee challenging the continuation of refugee resettlement in states that have withdrawn from the program.

Jeff Johnson, a member of the St. Cloud, Minn., City Council, will spoke to the impact of refugee resettlement program at the local level.

Panel Transcript:…

Panel Video:…

When: Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

Where: National Press Club, Bloomberg Room, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C.


Barnett, a fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and widely published on refugee resettlement and asylum issues, presented his recent publication, "Do States Have a Say in the Refugee Resettlement Program?"

Thompson is the President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which filed a lawsuit challenging constitutionality of the federal refugee resettlement program.

Johnson has served on the St. Cloud, Minn., City Council for seven years. He recently introduced a resolution calling for a moratorium on refugee resettlement in St. Cloud pending clarification of the fiscal impact.

Executive Director, Center for Immigration Studies

Topics: Refugees