Gov. Lee defends decision to keep accepting refugees in Tennessee

Jan 8, 2020

Gov. Bill Lee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Lee has cautioned members of his own party not to fall prey to “misinformation” about refugees.

At a local GOP luncheon in Nashville on Tuesday, Lee said refugees are not "illegal immigrants" and said he feels a “biblical mandate” to protect them.

Lee last month decided to keep accepting refugees in Tennessee, declining an offer by President Donald Trump's administration that lets states and local governments stop resettling them. Lee cited his Christian faith and his own service with refugees.

Tuesday's discussion at the luncheon drew some grumbling about his refugee decision. Lee responded with his loudest defense of his choice to date.