A federal judge on Wednesday shot down an attempt by Texas to block the Obama administration from resettling Syrian refugees in the Lone Star State.
U.S District Judge David Godbey said Texas officials failed to make “a plausible claim for relief.”
Texas had demanded the federal government provide more information to the state about the refugees being resettled, with the goal of learning who might have a possible terrorist background. It demanded a halt to resettlements until that information was supplied.
State officials, however, lack the power to enforce the U.S. Refugee Act’s “advance consultation requirement,” Godbey ruled.
“The Court finds no indication that Congress affirmatively contemplated private enforcement by States when it passed the Refugee Act,” he wrote.
“I am disappointed with the court’s determination that Texas cannot hold the federal government accountable to consult with us before resettling refugees here,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who had lost several prior rulings in the state’s effort to bar the refugees from being resettled in Texas. “We are considering our options moving forward to guarantee the safety of Texans from domestic and foreign threats.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted his displeasure with the ruling, saying, “Laws should protect us not endanger us.”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 16, 2016
Twitter users commiserated with Abbott.
@GregAbbott_TX We don’t want them here. They don’t assimilate, it doesn’t matter how much they get in money and support, they hate us.
— Sarah Connor (@SConnorTX) June 16, 2016
@SConnorTX I don’t think we wouldn’t mind them here if they did assimilate. But as you said they don’t want to and hate our culture.
— Stuart Atwater (@OnlyStuartUKnow) June 16, 2016
The ruling could impact the actions by other states to block the federal government from resettling refugees.
“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,” said Cecillia Wang an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.
h/t: The Hill