Friday, January 17, 2020

Federal Judge Blocks Trump Order Allowing States to Refuse to Settle Refugees

A federal judge in Maryland temporarily blocked an executive order signed by President Trump that would allow state and local governments to refuse to accept refugees.
Judge Peter J. Messitte of the Maryland District Court granted a motion from refugee groups to temporarily stay the order while their legal challenge against the president plays out.
"By giving States and Local Governments the power to veto where refugees may be resettled — in the face of clear statutory text and structure, purpose, Congressional intent, executive practice, judicial holdings, and Constitutional doctrine to the contrary — Order 13888 does not appear to serve the overall public interest," Messitte, who was appointed by former President Clinton, wrote in his opinion.
"Granting the preliminary inductive relief Plaintiffs seek does," he continued. "Refugee resettlement activity should go forward as it developed for the almost 40 years before Executive Order 13888 was announced."
The lawsuit was brought by the refugee groups HIAS, Church World Service and the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
“This ruling shows the country how this administration was wrong to attempt a state-by-state refugee ban," Mark Hetfield, the president and CEO of HIAS, said in a statement. "Judge Messitte found it likely that the executive order is unlawful, and we are grateful for the clarity of this injunction."
Texas governor says state will not accept new refugees
"An overwhelming majority of governors and municipalities have already expressed their desire to continue welcoming refugees," Hetfield added. "To those few who have not, we say not only is it unkind and un-American to ban refugees from your states and towns, but it is unlawful."
Messitte said in his 31-page opinion that the groups have shown a likelihood that their legal challenge will succeed. In their lawsuit filed in November, the groups argued that the executive order undermines the existing legal framework for admitting and resettling refugees in the U.S.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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