February 29, 2016

CONTACT: Inga Sarda-Sorensen, 212-284-7347, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal court has denied Indiana's effort to prevent resettlement of Syrian refugee families. The ruling stems from a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration.

The ACLU is challenging Governor Mike Pence's attempts to interfere with resettlement of Syrian refugees, in violation of the U.S. Constitution and federal law. The court today granted the ACLU's motion for preliminary injunction.

"This ruling puts the brakes on Governor Pence's end run around the Constitution," said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy  director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "No state can unilaterally ban a group of refugees that has been vetted and admitted by the federal government. By trying to block Syrian families based solely on their nationality, Indiana is flouting federal law, the U.S. Constitution, and our fundamental American values of providing refuge for families fleeing war and violence."

"We are extremely pleased by the decision," said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana. "The equal protection clause of the United States Constitution demands that all of the refugees who are extensively vetted and finally approved by the federal government be treated equally.  Indiana was not, and now, pursuant to the trial court’s order, must do so."

The case, Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. v. Mike Pence, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

The ruling is at: https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/exodus-refugee-immigration-inc-v-mike-pence-et-al-order-granting-plaintiffs-motion

This press statement is at: https://www.aclu.org/news/federal-court-blocks-indianas-attempts-interfere-syrian-refugee-resettlement

More information is at: https://www.aclu.org/cases/exodus-refugee-immigration-inc-v-mike-pence-et-al

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