Tennessee became the first state in the nation on Monday to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of several state lawmakers Monday morning in the western district of Tennessee, contends that the federal government has violated the Tenth Amendment, which says the federal government possesses only the powers delegated to it by the U.S. Constitution and that all other powers are reserved for the states.
The charge that the federal government is not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, based on the Tenth Amendment, makes Tennessee’s lawsuit the first of its kind. Other states have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement but on different legal grounds.
The nation continues to debate refugee resettlement and immigrant rights as it awaits President Donald Trump’s new travel ban. The ban, set to take affect Thursday, bars travel for many people from six Muslim-majority counties and is considered by Trump’s opponents to function essentially as a Muslim ban, although the administration denies this charge.