Tennessee governor says state will keep resettling refugees

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FILE – In this April 17, 2019, file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee takes part in a discussion on state-level criminal justice reform in Nashville, Tenn. Republican Gov. Bill Lee says Tennessee won’t stop resettling refugees under an option offered to states by President Donald Trump’s administration. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

NASHVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee says Tennessee won’t stop resettling refugees under an option offered to states by President Donald Trump’s administration.

In reaching the decision announced Wednesday, Lee said he considered his own experience helping Kurdish refugees and weighed it against the will of fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

GOP lawmakers had sued the federal government over its refugee resettlement program and legislative leaders hoped Lee would take Trump up on his offer. So far, no state has said it plans to reject refugees.

More than 2,000 refugees resettled in Tennessee during the 2016 budget year. That number was 692 in 2018.


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