In the News / December 2015

Texas sues to block Syrian refugees | Mother Jones

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A lawsuit filed by the state of Texas on Wednesday has prompted yet another legal and logistical stalemate over attempts to resettle Syrian refugees in the United States. Resettlement groups say Texas’ arguments are false. The IRC did not respond to requests for comment, but other resettlement organizations have told Mother Jones that routine consultations with state governments do take place. “We are contractually mandated to do community consultations in every location where we do resettlement before our numbers get approved for any given year,” says Erol Kekic, the director of the Immigration and Refugee Program at Church World Service, a national resettlement agency. “That includes talking to elected officials, that includes talking to law enforcement, school systems, health systems, etc.”

The groups also contend that states still cannot unilaterally demand that resettlements stop. “The Refugee Act of 1980 does not give the state any kind of veto power,” says Lavinia Limón, president and CEO of the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. “They don’t have any authority. It’s a consultative process.”

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