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Upstate Refugee Resettlement Operating In Violation Of State Law

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HALEY ADMINISTRATION IGNORING BUDGET PROVISO BARRING FUNDING FOR CONTROVERSIAL PROGRAM

|| By FITSNEWS || We get that the letter of the law doesn’t really matter anymore in America …

After the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest contortions in defense of Obamacare, why pass laws at all?

Anyway, South Carolina lawmakers passed a $26 billion budget this year … one which contained all sorts of provisos directing how certainly funds were to be spent.  The document is pure status quo perpetuation … different from prior budgets only in its growth from the previous year.

There’s almost nothing we like about it.

Almost …

Behold, Part 1.B Section 117.132 of the state budget.  Which reads as follows …

No state funds shall be expended to assist in the United States Refugee Resettlement Program unless the county council of the county where the resettlement is to occur approves the relocation.

For those of you who missed it, back in April this website blew the lid on a controversial refugee resettlement program in Spartanburg, S.C.  Under this scheme, the United Nations picks refugees for “resettlement” in the United States – a process paid for by U.S. taxpayers under the auspices of heavily subsidized (usually uber-liberal) nonprofits.

Many of these liberal groups masquerade as “Christian” charities, exploiting the social conservatives living in the Upstate region of the Palmetto State.

Oh … and speaking of exploitation, once federal tax dollars have paid for these resettlements (via the U.S. State Department), local governments are stuck with the costs of providing for these refugees.

We have consistently opposed the program – and increasingly, we’re not alone.

Unfortunately, the plan is supported by S.C. governor Nikki Haley – who is running it out of her scandal-scarred S.C. Department of Social Services (SCDSS).  In fact Haley not only supports the program, she’s reportedly authorized SCDSS to expand it in the coming fiscal year.

How is that possible, though? Has Spartanburg County approved the relocation?

No … in fact the local county council (membership/ email addresses here) has refused to take a vote on the matter.

Wait, though: According to the budget proviso, doesn’t that mean “no state funds shall be expended” in support of the program?

Yes.  Not a dime.

Unfortunately, Haley’s administration is ignoring this proviso.

“State money is already being spent on the refugees being resettled in Spartanburg,” said Michelle Wiles, the activist who has filed a “cease and desist” letter with the U.S. State Department seeking to block the resettlement.

Wiles is working to get the Spartanburg County Council to take a vote on the proposed resettlement, but so far they have refused to do so.

In the meantime, State Department officials are arguing that any federal money passed through state agencies is not subject to the terms of the proviso – even though it’s part of the state budget.

“The state department said that no vote of the county council could stop the flow of money,” S.C. Rep. Donna Hicks said.

Hicks has been one of the few state lawmakers to sound the alarm about the costly obligations associated with the resettlement.  She’s frustrated with the lack of leadership at the local level.

“The county council doesn’t want to be responsible,” Hicks said.

Spineless …

As we’ve said from the beginning of this saga, we explicitly reject the use of tax dollars – especially those routed through liberal foundations – to impose long-term obligations on South Carolina taxpayers.  If faith-based organizations wish to host legal immigrants on their own dime, that’s great – but their activities cannot be subsidized by government revenue.  Nor can they be permitted to impose affirmative new obligations on already over-taxed citizens.

“Faith-based compassion is a wonderful thing, but just as one’s religious beliefs shouldn’t be imposed on another without consent … neither should taxpayer obligations based on those beliefs,” we wrote.

Indeed.

In addition to that, the rule of law matters.  Or at least it should.  State law forbids the implementation of this program without an affirmative vote of the county’s elected representatives.  Those representatives have refused to cast such a vote, meaning the program should be suspended until such time as they do.

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