Texas has been trying to stop federal plans to bring in Syrian refugees into the state by suing the feds in the federal court system.

According to Watchdog.org, Syrian refugees in the United States will about “double the cost of federal resettlement programs over the next two years.”

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Dallas, names Secretary of State John Kerry as the chief defendant.

Watchdog.org reports that the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement spent $600 million in 2014, mainly as “cash” and “medical assistance,” and the ORR costs are projected to increase by more than 70 percent with the additional 10,000 refugees. In 2010, 83,655 refugees from around the globe were eligible for U.S. tax-supported benefits. By 2014, 138,842 were on the rolls.

Unfortunately, the Lone Star State is trying to convince the feds to stop themselves, something they are unlikely to do.

And today, the Associated Press reported that a federal judge rejected the Texas suit against the federal government in federal court.

But is that all the Lone Star State can do?

Fortunately, the answer is no. The state can pass anti-commandeering legislation that prohibits the use of state resources and personnel in refugee resettlement. While private voluntary agencies handle actual refugee reception and placement services, the state provides many other services, funding and benefits. By pulling all state cooperation, Texas could make it extremely difficult for the feds to resettle refugees in the state.

Legislators in South Carolina have already filed this type of legislation. Even Ian Millhiser of ThinkProgress agrees that policies would “potentially make settlement of refugees more difficult than it would be if the states cooperated.”

Even if the federal government did resettle refugees in the state, this type of approach would at least keep state coffers from being drained. The feds would be on the hook for the total cost of the program.

Texas could also introduce legislation to bill the feds for any costs associated with necessary law enforcement due to the presence of refugees.

States like Texas need to stop looking to the federal courts to rectify problems with the feds and instead follow James Madison’s blueprint in Federalist #46 and simple refuse to cooperate.

TJ Martinell

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