Case Closed: Blocked by the Courts, Indiana Finally Calls Off Attempt to Bar Syrian Refugees

Affiliate: ACLU of Indiana
February 28, 2018 12:15 pm

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INDIANAPOLIS – After being repeatedly blocked by the courts, the State of Indiana has officially called off its attempt to stop the resettlement of Syrian refugees, allowing a judgment to be entered against it today.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana successfully challenged the ban on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration on the grounds that it illegally discriminated against a group of refugees on the basis of their nationality.

“Former Governor Mike Pence’s callous attempt to block the resettlement of refugees not only offended our values as Hoosiers, it violated the Constitution and federal law as well,” said Jane Henegar, Executive Director of the ACLU of Indiana. “Indiana’s failed refugee ban was a shameful retreat from our values and a preview of discriminatory policies like the Muslim Ban, which the ACLU continues to fight at every turn.”

In 2015, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana, representing the resettlement organization Exodus Refugee Immigration, filed suit against then-Governor Mike Pence and the secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration to stop attempts by the governor to deter resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana, claiming the governor’s actions violated the United States Constitution and federal law.

“Attempting to shroud discrimination under the cover of ‘national security’ does not make us safer – it diminishes our nation and our principles,” said Cole Varga, the Executive Director of Exodus Refugee Immigration. “Exodus will continue to push back against the administration’s efforts to dismantle the national refugee program, and defend America’s position as a beacon of hope to people fleeing violence and persecution around the world.”

Last year, the Trump-Pence administration attempted to follow through on Trump’s campaign pledge to prohibit Muslims from entering the country. Since then, multiple courts have invalidated all three versions of President Trump’s travel ban. Trump abandoned the first two versions of the ban after courts repeatedly ruled them illegal. The third and most recent version, also declared invalid by the courts, is now headed to the Supreme Court.

A copy of this release is online here:

The final judgment from the court is here:

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