ACLU Comment on Texas Refugee Resettlement Ruling

Affiliate: ACLU of Texas
June 16, 2016 2:45 pm

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DALLAS — A federal court has dismissed Texas’ effort to block the federal government and a nonprofit relief organization from resettling Syrian refugees in the state. The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Texas are representing the International Rescue Committee in this case, along with National Immigration Law Center and Southern Poverty Law Center.

The following statement may be attributed to Rebecca L. Robertson, legal and policy director for the ACLU of Texas:

“With this ruling, the court unequivocally confirms that no state — not even Texas — can ban the resettlement of refugees based upon their nationality. This kind of discrimination is not only unconstitutional, but it’s also an affront to Texas’ values of equality and hospitality. We’re pleased that the IRC and other groups will be able to continue their important work without interference from the State.”

The following may be attributed to Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas:

“Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton didn’t have a legal leg to stand on here, and they knew it. The goal of this wasteful lawsuit had nothing to do with public safety, and everything to do with scoring political points on the backs of desperate refugees. We trust Judge Godbey’s ruling will dissuade other states contemplating similar discriminatory measures.”

Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and lead counsel for the International Rescue Committee, had this response to today’s ruling:

“The court has tossed Texas’ case out of court and held that there is no legal merit to the state’s claims. This ruling is a strong rebuke of efforts to block refugee resettlement. It sends the clear message to other states that such attempts are not only un-American, they are contrary to the law and will fail in court.”

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