Frustrated Tennessee governor writes Obama about unannounced border kids
July 29th, 2014
02:39 PM ET
4 months ago

Frustrated Tennessee governor writes Obama about unannounced border kids

(CNN) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam expressed frustration with the Obama administration’s decision to place 760 unaccompanied minors in his state without notification.

In a letter addressed to President Barack Obama dated July 25, Haslam said it was “unacceptable” that the state discovered the presence of the unaccompanied minors through an online posting by the Department of Health and Human Services.

A spokesman for Haslam said Tuesday the governor has not been notified by the administration. HHS said it would review the letter and respond to the governor as soon as possible.

Read Haslam's letter to Obama

Haslam, a Republican, said he raised the issue of the border crisis, which has seen thousands of unaccompanied minors cross the southern border, two weeks previously at a meeting of the National Governor’s Association with HHS Secretary Cynthia Burwell and asked to be directly informed of any relocation of unaccompanied minors to his state.

He is primarily concerned about the burden the unaccompanied minors will place on the state’s resources.

In the letter, Haslam wrote, “Although solving the border crisis is a federal responsibility, this influx of immigrant children could have a significant impact on state and local governments.”

The letter also emphasized Haslam’s concern about the health status of the children relocated to Tennessee, the immigration status and screenings of the children’s sponsors, and how long the children are expected to stay in his state.

Other governors have expressed similar concerns about the placement of unaccompanied minors in their states. The day before Haslam sent his letter to the President, Georgia’s Gov. Nathan Deal sent a similar letter calling it “unconscionable” that the federal government “failed to pick up the phone, email or send a letter” informing the governor of the presence of unaccompanied immigrant minors in his state.

Notably, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, engaged in a public spat with the White House about the placement of minors in a facility in western Maryland, which eventually was taken off list of sites HHS was considering.


Filed under: Bill Haslam • President Obama • Tennessee
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Laverne

    Perhaps if they all were little Asian kids the republicans would not be so upset!

    July 29, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Not in my backyard" Christians at work.
    God bless their souls.

    July 29, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    The Tennessee governor got all those talking points from the Hannity Show. Fertilized eggs are always welcome in TN, children, not so much. Damn shame we wasted federal money bringing electricity to this backward dimwit.

    July 29, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Marty

    I don't think he cares what you or anyone else thinks

    July 29, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. CALIFORNIA

    The Obama invasion continues................

    July 29, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Rham Emmanuel had it right. Host them in Chicago. After spending a weekend there, they'll break the speed limit trying to get back from wherever they came.

    July 29, 2014 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Chris..E.Al

    If you notice most are going to red states . A slap to the face and a hit below the belt compliments of the WH .

    July 29, 2014 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Deep Fried Beans

    Obama is secretly shipping illegal immigrants as he pleases throughout the country.

    US Laws seem to be an inconvenience to Obama as is constantly ignores them and is blatantly breaking them.

    Feel that sharp pain between your shoulders, America? That blade belongs to Obama as he would rather help illegal immigrants than you. Because, guess who gets to pay for all of this mess...

    July 29, 2014 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. rs

    If it is the federal government who is housing, feeding, taking care of the health needs of these children, and processing them through federal immigration systems (and ultimately deporting them) in compliance with Mr. Bush's 2008 law, what beef does the Governor of Tennessee have? Until and unless it impacts his state, he has nothing to add to the conversation, except of course perhaps that rare GOP synthesis of hatred and grandstanding.

    July 29, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Bush and the republicans supported a law in 2008, and now they won't pay for it? Bush and the republicans started two wars and they kept them off the books, Bush and the republicans introduced a new drug program and did not pay for it. The republicans shut down the government at a cost of $24 billion and did not pay for it. That is conservatism at its finest.

    July 29, 2014 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Tampa Tim

    Do RWNJs think 8 year old immigrants will cost us more than the $24 billion republican government shutdown?

    July 29, 2014 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  12. bill

    Obama is king. He can send these kids where ever he wants. He has a pin and a phone. Too bad he doesn't have a brain to go along with them.

    July 29, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  13. smith

    @DM4O-Must admit I was wrong about Romney and his false comparison to unemployed citizens. However, my view on the left using that false comparison more than the right remains the same.

    July 29, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  14. Smitty

    If you feel strong on this go to the border and adopt a couple of them. Action speaks louder than words.

    July 29, 2014 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  15. rs

    Chris..E.Al

    If you notice most are going to red states . A slap to the face and a hit below the belt compliments of the WH .
    ______________________
    So, in your mind California is a red state?
    As most enter through Texas (a red state), and many are being transferred to other "southern" states (because Texas is unable to deal with them all), and most southern states are red- what's your point? Perhaps you'd like to send these kids farther afield at much greater cost? Typical Right-wing logic. I guess that's easier than fixing their law (now that they don't like it), or funding a rational solution.

    July 29, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Hey, Governor. If you don't like it, then ask your state's congressional delegation to pass a bill for extra funding.

    July 29, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. Jerry Fletcher/ conspiracy theorist

    Hey you inbreed rwnj, enjoy the fruits of your hero George w bush, his law, your problem, no surprise! Amazing how you guys just can't handle that fact, Obama is following the Republican administrations law, you know your gop could always vote on a clean bill, but we've seen this show before, the gop will promise to do something, and take a vote, but in the end, all your going to get is excuses, same ole song and dance!

    July 29, 2014 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. rs

    CALIFORNIA

    The Obama invasion continues................
    ____________________
    I know facts are tough for you guys, but Mr. Obama is simply enforcing Mr. Bush's law. See the flaw in your logic yet?

    July 29, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. Dean

    Obama is such a weasel.

    July 29, 2014 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Jerry Fletcher/ conspiracy theorist

    I would be embarrassed to blame Obama for following a law enacted by a Republican administration, but hey, their long on stupid, short on facts.

    July 29, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. CALIFORNIA

    rs
    CALIFORNIA

    The Obama invasion continues................
    ____________________
    I know facts are tough for you guys, but Mr. Obama is simply enforcing Mr. Bush's law. See the flaw in your logic yet?

    July 29, 2014 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
    ----------
    Republicans have changed that in a bill but democrats like PELOSI (one that helped draft it) Don't want to change it.
    Talk to your own party. You people complain about something yet hold up the change yourselves. PATHETIC at best.

    July 29, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    rs

    If it is the federal government who is housing, feeding, taking care of the health needs of these children, and processing them through federal immigration systems (and ultimately deporting them) in compliance with Mr. Bush's 2008 law,
    -----------------------------------------------------
    rs!!!!!
    PLEASE stop complicating these people's objections with your simply stated FACTS!
    Please!!
    Facts have nothing, absolutely nothing to do with their refusals and their objections, including the shocking objection of my own Maryland Democratic Governor O'Malley.
    You know and I know, and everybody knows that this is just another GOPer opportunity to dog-pounce on the Prez, blame him for something that is not of his own doing, and trying to turn folks against him just in time for the 2014 elections.
    So stop confusing everybody with straight and simple facts and let the willfully simple-minded continue with their depravity and cold-heartedness as it concerns these children and the President..

    July 29, 2014 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. CALIFORNIA

    rs – yeah facts just get in the way for ya don't they.

    July 29, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  24. Jerry Fletcher/ conspiracy theorist

    TT, let's not forget the nearly 300 billion in tax cuts for big business, just passed without one word about offsetting the cost, no problem. It seems they only have a problem with others spending money.

    July 29, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    smith

    @DM4O-Must admit I was wrong about Romney and his false comparison to unemployed citizens. However, my view on the left using that false comparison more than the right remains the same.
    ----------------------------------------------------–
    I accept you recognizing your mistake smith, and in regards to the second part of your post, you are entitled to your opinon of course.

    July 29, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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