Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was outraged last week when the State “became aware via a posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee” without his administration’s knowledge.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) “provides new populations with opportunities to maximize their potential in the United States, linking people in need to critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society”—or so they say.
Haslam immediately sent a strongly-worded letter to the President stating that “‘It is unacceptable that we became aware via posting on the HHS website that 760 unaccompanied children have been released by the Office of Refugee Resettlement to sponsors in Tennessee without my administration’s knowledge.’”
He asked eight specific questions regarding the unaccompanied immigrant children:
1. What was the process for determining that these children should be released to sponsors in Tennessee?
2. How did you locate and evaluate the fitness of their sponsors?
3. What medical screenings were the children given prior to their release in Tennessee?
4. What is the official immigration status of these children and their sponsors?
5. In what localities are these children now residing?
6. What are the legal requirements concerning the provision of services for these children while they are in the state?
7. What additional information is available on these children, such as age and health status?
8. How long will these children be in Tennessee?
The letter concludes with Haslam's concern about not knowing how many children school districts can expect at the start of the new school year.
Sorry, Governor Haslam, don’t expect an answer any time soon. The President was busy last week walking down Main Street in Parkville, Missouri where he spent time with store owners, toured an antique watch shop, and chatted with customers at a local coffee shop.
Get with the program, Bill, and get to work spending the Tennessee taxpayer hard earned dollars assimilating the new kids in town and dealing with unintended consequences of the President’s actions or the ORR may send you another 760 “unaccompanied children.”
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