Justice

Tennessee State Rep. Calls For Rounding Up Syrian Refugees

CREDIT: AP Photo/Erik Schelzig

Tennessee Rep. Glen Casada (R) in January, opposing Medicaid expansion

Perhaps unaware of the nation’s shameful history of rounding up minority groups, Tennessee state Rep. Glen Casada (R) urged on Tuesday that his state do just that. He called on Tennessee to not only use its National Guard to block Syrian refugees from entering the state, but also “gather up” any of them already in Tennessee and force them to leave.

According to The Tennessean, Casada, the state’s House Republican Caucus Chairman, claimed that as a “sovereign state,” Tennessee should act because the “federal government is forsaking the obligation to protect our citizens.”

“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can,” he argued. “I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an un-elected judge thinks… We need to gather [the refugees] up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.'”

Ironically, Casada’s campaign website’s “Illegal Immigration” section boasts that his state “has always welcomed the best and brightest minds from all over the world to legally move within our borders.”

Even if Casada’s proposal did not violate the U.S. constitution, it would also be a highly ineffective way of protecting anyone. The Tennessean story noted that just 30 of the more than 1,600 refugees settled in the state so far in 2015 have been from Syria. Of the hundreds of thousands of refugees admitted to the United States previously, virtually none have become terrorists.

As Casada and others call to reject the Syrians fleeing from terrorism, France vowed to accept even more Syrian refugees that it had previously promised.