Rights’ groups ask to dismiss lawsuit over refugee program

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(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Several Tennessee-based refugee rights’ organizations have asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit the state Legislature filed over the refugee resettlement program.

The lawsuit that the General Assembly filed back in March had argued that the refugee program should be shut down because it is forcing the state to spend money on additional services, such as health care. State Attorney General Herbert Slatery III declined to file the lawsuit on behalf of lawmakers, so the suit was filed by a private firm for free. Gov. Bill Haslam last year refused to sign a resolution that passed in the Legislature demanding the lawsuit.

In paperwork filed Friday, the refugee rights’ organizations argued that only the state attorney general has the right to sue on behalf of the state.