While everyone’s eyes are on impeachment, the impending primary season, and a host of other things, there is a disturbing trend happening across the country.  On October 10, 2019 in Minneapolis, President Trump spoke at a rally and addressed the idea of refugee resettlement.  Said the President:

As you know, for many years, leaders in Washington brought large numbers of refugees to your state from Somalia without considering the impact on schools and communities and taxpayers.  You should be able to decide what is best for your own cities and for your own neighborhoods, and that’s what you have the right to do right now, and believe me, no other president would be doing that.

There are nine federally-funded refugee resettlement contractors.  They have until mid-January to get permission from jurisdictions to resettle these refugees from a variety of countries.  Under Trump, he has granted permission for these jurisdictions to reject resettlement.  These contractors have activists on the ground in over 3,000 jurisdictions promoting resettlement.  Under Executive Order 13888, both the state and local governments must formally request resettlement before the process begins.

What is disturbing is the list of Governors who have submitted letters to the State Department expressing their desire to resettle refugees.  While we on the Right can understand liberal governors or GOP Governors in blue states would sign on, there are 15 Republican Governors in red states that did likewise.  We are talking about people like Doug Ducey of Arizona who received the endorsement of Trump, even after he openly criticized the President.  In Oklahoma and West Virginia, Trump carried every county in 2016.  Yet, Governor Stitt (Oklahoma) and Justice (West Virginia) have sent letters to the State Department committing to refugee resettlement.

What is behind this push by Republican Governors in red states that overwhelmingly supported Trump in 2016, mainly over the issue of immigration and refugees?  Look no further than the churches and evangelical pastors in these states.  These are largely the same pastors who were silent and could not stand up and be counted in thwarting the LGBT agenda, or actually cutting off funds to an abortion mill like Planned Parenthood.  Suddenly, they have found their collective voices when it comes to refugee resettlement.

In early December, over 2,600 evangelical leaders signed letters to Governors in every state urging them to continue refugee resettlement.  Apparently the public relations pressure is paying off.  After Ducey received a letter from 294 evangelical leaders in Arizona, he signed off on resettlement.  In Tennessee, 659 evangelical pastors sent a letter to Governor Bill Lee.  It apparently worked as he too has sent a letter to the State Department to participate in the program.

Speaking of Tennessee, Nashville best embodies the effects of refugee resettlement and open borders and how it is transforming smaller and midsize cities.  Today, over 30% of the city’s school-age children do not speak English as a first language.  Although primarily Spanish-speaking, Arabic is second and Somali fourth on the list.  Over 120 languages are spoken in the Nashville school district, almost as many as in New York City.  Today, partly thanks to refugee resettlement, Tennessee now ranks as one of the fastest growing states for non-English speakers, up a whopping 459% since 1980.

The drivers behind these efforts- World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table- are responsible for the letters.  World Relief, originally established in 1944 in the aftermath of World War II in resettling refugees, is a $65 million agency partially funded through grants from the government.  As for the other group, in 2013 it was reported they received over $3 million from the Open Society Initiative, an organization run and funded by George Soros.  In 2014, they ran a $250,000 ad campaign arguing for immigration reform that included amnesty for illegal immigrants.  Responding to accusations about Soros, they cagily denied any connection saying that “no OSI money was used in the ad campaign.”

Unfortunately, it is not so much alleged Christian values that guide these groups out of some humanitarian effort.  There is big money to be had from government largesse.  USAID already partially funds World Relief.  And the president of World Relief, Scott Arbeiter, seems to intimate such:

After being forced to leave their countries to escape war, persecution or natural disaster and being legally allowed entry to the U.S., the last thing refugees should have to experience is being denied access to communities in which they wish to dwell.  Halting the resettlement of refugees to states will disrupt families and could lead to the end of vital ministries by local churches.  {Emphasis mine}

Further, these groups are not above using the courts to get their way.  In September, soon after Trump signed E.O. 13888, three groups- Church World Service, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and HIAS (a Jewish group)- sought a preliminary injunction against the order in Maryland arguing that Trump overstepped his bounds in violation of the intent of Congress.  They stated that local jurisdictions were to be considered, according to law, but never were intended to have a veto power over the resettlement of refugees.  Guess what?  These three groups, along with World Relief and the Evangelical Immigration Table, are among the nine groups authorized by the State Department to resettle refugees in the United States.

This is a perverse system where groups, some of them largely dependent on government funds, are working against the policies of the Trump administration when it comes to giving greater say to local jurisdictions, not just states.

In an real sense, who needs to worry about George Soros when you have Republican Governors in red states that overwhelmingly backed Trump in 2016 willing to do his bidding?  The President gave communities a tool to affect the outcome of an important national issue at the local level.  Unfortunately, they are using the tools to engage in act of self-bludgeoning spurred on by evangelical pastors with their hands in the cookie jar.  Apparently, these “leaders” have forgotten the people and voters who fill their pews.

The nine organizations authorized by the State Department are:

  • Church World Service
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Ethiopian Community Development Council
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
  • US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
  • World Relief Corporation

As a side note, where is that “wall of separation between church and state” now?

{This article is not meant to disparage evangelical Christians, Jews or Catholics.  The liberal pastors within their ranks are another story.}