Federal judge rules Indiana can't block resettlement of Syrian refugees: report

Federal judge rules Indiana can't block resettlement of Syrian refugees: report
© Greg Nash

A federal judge ruled that the state of Indiana cannot block Syrian refugees from resettling in the state under an order from then Gov. Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceNorth Korea canceled secret meeting with Pence at Olympics Judicial order in Flynn case prompts new round of scrutiny The CIA may need to call White House to clarify Russia meddling MORE (R).

In November 2015, Pence was part of a group of 16 governors who announced plans to block Syrian refugees from settling in their states in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris. All but one of the governors were Republicans.

The Indiana policy prevented state agencies from making payments to a nonprofit that helped resettle Syrian refugees.


U.S. District Judge Tonya Walton Pratt on Tuesday ruled that Indiana could no longer withhold authorized payments to the Exodus Refugee Immigration group, according to The Associated Press.

Pratt had temporarily blocked Pence's order in February 2016, in response to an ACLU lawsuit. The ACLU argued the order illegally targeted refugees based on their nationality.

A federal appeals court upheld Pratt's block on the policy in an October 2016 ruling, saying Pence’s policy was discriminatory.

Alyssa Farah, Pence’s press secretary, said in a statement that “it makes sense” that the state would now changes its policies under President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE.

“When the now-Vice President was serving as governor he directed all state agencies to stop resettling Syrian refugees in Indiana until the federal government could provide credible assurances that ‘proper security measures are in place.’ Now, under President Trump’s leadership,  proper security measures are being implemented — it makes sense that Indiana would settle,” Farah said.

—Updated at 5:43 p.m.