Texas Moves To End Legal Battle Over Syrian Refugees | KERA News

Texas Moves To End Legal Battle Over Syrian Refugees

Oct 7, 2016

A week after the state officially withdrewfrom the nation’s refugee resettlement program, Texas has moved to end its legal battle over Syrian refugees.

In a short, three-page motion, Texas on Friday asked the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to dismiss the state's appeal of a federal judge’s June decision that threw out the state’s case after finding Texas did not have grounds to sue the federal government over the resettlement of refugees within its borders.

In August, Texas alerted the appellate court that it intended to appeal the decision. But since then, the state announced that it would no longer participate in the federal refugee resettlement program, which helps thousands of refugees from around the world resettle in the state.

In moving to block the resettlement of those fleeing war-torn Syria over security concerns, Texas originally cited its participation in the program as its basis to sue the federal government and the International Rescue Committee — one of about 20 private nonprofits that have a state contract to resettle refugees in Texas — for vowing they would continue aiding Syrian refugees placed in Texas.

The Texas attorney general’s office, which represented the state in the lawsuit, declined to comment.

Donna Duvin, executive director of the International Rescue Committee’s Dallas branch, said the AG’s decision “reinforces” that refugee resettlement in Texas “is perfectly lawful.”

“The move also aligns with what’s actually happening in Texas communities where refugees typically are warmly welcomed and supported as they rebuild their lives here,” Duvin said in a statement.

The Texas Tribune provided this story. 

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