Clueless Bill Haslam Demands Answers About Routine Event In Tennessee

Apparently Gov. Haslam has no clue what is going on in the state of Tennessee.

In a pathetic attempt to appear tough on the Muslim-Usurper-Blackety-Black-Man-In-The-White-House and exploit a national news story, Gov. Haslam has sent what local media are calling an “angry” letter to President Obama demanding answers about 760 immigrant and refugee kids who were sent to families here in Tennessee.

In so doing, he has made an absolute fool out of himself:

The unaccompanied minors have been placed into Tennessee households with approved “sponsors” — typically their own families and relatives — as has been happening for years, said immigrant and refugee advocates.

“They’ve got somewhere to go,” said Eben Cathey, spokesman for the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. “They’re not getting dropped off. They’re getting placed with their mom, dad, aunt or uncle.”

Haslam’s letter demanded to know such things as how the sponsors were selected, what criteria were used to determine sponsors’ suitability, etc. The Haslam administration is “still waiting” for answers, too. Which I find hilarious. Haslam is demanding to know answers about something which has been going on routinely in this state for over a decade! Perhaps there’s someone right here in Tennessee he can ask? The Tennessee Office of Refugees, perhaps?

It’s hard not to see this for the political maneuvering it so obviously is. I guess Bill Haslam is still harboring dreams of a presidential run some day down the road. Hilarious. No one is fooled, though:

Dan Kesselbrener, National Immigration Project executive director, said the process for minors has been the same since 2002 and has never included a mandate to inform states about placements.

“The only thing that’s new is the volume,” he said. “To me, the only way to make sense of the letter is that he cares now because it’s a bigger deal. It appears to be consistent with someone who is trying to score points against the administration.”

Bingo! Thank you for playing!

You know what else I just love, love, love? Right-wingers are always all like, “let the churches deal with x, y, z problem, let charities handle it.” Catholic Charities does, in fact, carry a tremendous amount of the load when it comes to immigrants and refugees, not just here in Tennessee but everywhere. But they have an especially strong presence here in Tennessee, providing sponsors, placements, English classes, and all sorts of other programs. Tennessee in general is blessed to have a lot of churches and charities which serve the refugee community — we’re the Volunteer State, fer crying out loud. It’s why we’re a go-to place for refugee resettlement, because of the support from the church sector. It’s why we have the largest Kurdish population in the nation. It’s why we have so many refugees from Somalia and Sudan living here. It’s why Nashville is seeing a large number of refugees from Myanmar. So we are, in fact, doing what right-wingers want: churches and charities shouldering the load, embracing refugees from war-torn parts of the world, assimilating immigrants into America, rah rah.

And Bill Haslam wants some answers from the White House about what we’ve been doing for years? Puh-leeze.

Here’s a thought for Gov. Haslam: why don’t you just high-tail it on down to NICE, Catholic Charities, the TIRRC, Conexion Americas, or, heck, just take a little tour down Nolensville Road and talk to some shop owners to get yourself up to speed on immigrants in Nashville. Hell, you can sit in on my ESL class today. We won’t mind. Just keep your yap shut since so much stupid keeps falling out.


Filed under Gov. Bill Haslam, immigration, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

7 responses to “Clueless Bill Haslam Demands Answers About Routine Event In Tennessee

  1. Joe

    We could go over once again how the sponsors were selected; mothers, fathers, aunts and uncles, but I’d like to believe that Senator Haslam’s father covered that topic with him some years ago. The birds and the bees and all that.

    • Governor Haslam. Not Senator. I suppose he’d be doing less damage as a Senator. This is the same guy so concerned about kids that he’s refused to expand Medicaid in the state, leaving thousands of children without healthcare.

  2. Mary Wilson

    OH, Lord. He is becoming the Governor drone to Stacey Campfield. Here in Knoxville we have literally hundreds of political refugees LIVING here thanks to those entities you mentioned, SB. We also have an ignorant Sheriff whose words were worse…I’ll stack em like cordwood, blah, blah.
    There is no way Haslam’s Daddy can buy him out of that one. And all our refugees are working toward citizenship. Guess who they will vote for? Anybody but Haslam. VOTE FOR JOHN McKAMEY. He is the answer, experienced in governing, and compassionate, ready to work for ALL of us.

  3. democommie

    Billy Hassle’ems father was born in Detroit. I’m guessing from his last name that his family came over from somewhere like Syria. No irony, there, no siree.

  4. Mike G

    Pretending to be stupid, to appeal to the prejudices of stupid people, has a long history in the Repuke party. As is politicians just plain being stupid and ignorant.

  5. greennotGreen

    I live off of Nolensville Road, and I love the changes in Nashville due to our welcoming of immigrants. However, while churches may be the reason immigrants first come here, I don’t think churches are the reason they are accepted in the community. That reason is Nashville’s concern with color, and that color is green, sometimes with a bit of peach – the color of money. New people, new opportunities to do business. If the Repubs hadn’t put so much energy into building their party through hate and fear of the Other, they might embrace our new customers and neighbors.

  6. Bitter Scribe

    Damn, I got to get back to Nashville soon.