Judge Throws Out Attempt by Texas to Block Syrian Refugee Resettlement

June 16, 2016

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

Judge Throws Out Attempt by Texas to Block Syrian Refugee Resettlement

DALLAS — A federal district court in Dallas today dismissed a Texas lawsuit, Texas Health and Human Services Commission v. United States, that sought to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state. U.S. District Judge David Godbey threw out Texas’s claims that the federal government and International Rescue Committee were not providing state agencies with enough information on who was being resettled. This latest court order underscores that Texas has no legal basis to attempt to block the resettlement there of refugees from any country.

The National Immigration Law Center has been proud to serve as counsel for the International Rescue Committee in the case, along with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of Texas, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the law firm of Susman Godfrey, LLP.

NILC staff attorney and counsel in the case, Nicholas Espiritu, issued the following statement:

“The federal district court was right to throw out this baseless case, which was nothing more than thinly veiled xenophobia and an intimidation tactic intended to improperly block the resettlement of refugees. Texas’s misguided lawsuit was not only wrong on the law, but stood in direct opposition to longstanding American values of welcoming and providing safe harbor to those fleeing persecution.

“Today’s decision clears the way for resettlement agencies and the many welcoming Texas communities who are doing the work to provide a home for people who are escaping horrible conditions.”

The court’s order is available at www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/TexasHHSC-v-US-granting-motion-to-dismiss-2016-06-15.pdf.

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