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Texas sues State Department to block Syrian refugee resettlement

A Texas agency has sued the US State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry, among others, seeking to prevent refugees from being resettled in the state. Two families from war-torn Syria are set to be relocated to Texas within a week. The Texas health and Human Service Commission filed a lawsuit at the US District Court in Dallas, asking it to issue a restraining order and an injunction that would jeopardize the federal government’s resettlement plan. The agency wants a hearing to be held before December 9.

03.12.2015. / 12:12:28


The agency accuses the federal government of violating its “statutory duty” to “consult regularly” with the state before settling Syrian refugees under the Refugee Act of 1980.

The International Rescue Committee, one of 20 private non-profits that have a state contract to resettle refugees, is set to bring up to six Syrian asylum seekers to Texas in coming days despite the state’s objections.

Texas officials have been criticizing the move and vowed to block further refugees following the November attacks in Paris. Yet in this case, the state agency says its lawsuit is not against any particular refugees, but simply about protecting Texas.

“The point of this lawsuit is not about specific refugees, it is about protecting Texans by ensuring that the federal government fulfills its obligation to properly vet the refugees and cooperate and consult with the state,” Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who called the International Rescue Committee’s actions “irresponsible,” has also said the agency offered “absolutely no guarantees” about safety ahead of the arrival of the refugees, with the first Syrian family expected to arrive in Dallas this week.

The International Rescue Committee responded in a statement saying that the Syrian refugees are “the most securely vetted group of people” entering the US, the Associated Press reported.

Three days after the Paris attacks, Governor Abbott joined more than two-dozen US states in threatening to bar Syrian refugees.
This article originally appeared in: SITE NAME

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