A federal judge has thrown out a Texas refugee immigration lawsuit designed to keep refugees from the Syrian civil war from emigrating to the state. U.S. District Judge David Godbey ruled that the Texas refugee immigration lawsuit was not valid. He stated that the U.S. Constitution grants the power over immigration to the federal government, rather than the individual states. The case marks the second time that Texas leaders have attempted to sue the Obama Administration over the issue of Syrian refugees.
Details of the Texas Refugee Immigration Lawsuit
Current Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, as well as his predecessor, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, filed the Texas refugee immigration lawsuit against the Obama Administration. The argument behind the Texas refugee immigration lawsuit lies in the belief that terrorists, such as those affiliated with Al-Qaeda the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), could enter the U.S. disguised as refugees. Texas officials filed their suit in December, claiming that the federal government must consult states about the placement of refugees under the Refugee Act of 1980.
Vetting Process Prompts Texas Refugee Immigration Lawsuit
Terrorist attacks in Paris, France, last November, combined with the arrest of Syrian refugees at the Texas-Mexico border, raised concerns about the federal government’s vetting process for incoming refugees. These concerns prompted the state to file their Texas refugee immigration lawsuit. A month later, Alabama officials filed a suit of their own. At least 30 other state governors have also voiced concerns about how terrorists could hide among innocent refugees, but none have yet to come forward with their own versions of the Texas refugee immigration lawsuit.
Judge: Texas Refugee Immigration Lawsuit Lacks Evidence
Despite the detention of Syrian refugees on the state’s southern border, Judge Godbey ruled that state officials lacked sufficient evidence to move forward with their Texas refugee immigration lawsuit. The judge also said that these issues must be settled through the “political process,” rather than through a Texas refugee immigration lawsuit. He acknowledged that, while “Syrian refugees pose some risk,” the Constitution states that “it is the federal executive that is charged with assessing and mitigating that risk, not the states and not the courts.”
Administration: Texas Refugee Immigration Lawsuit Concerns “Speculative”
Attorneys for the Obama Administration labeled the Texas refugee immigration lawsuit as a political statement, rather than a legal dispute. A legal filing from White House attorneys called the concerns that refugees could infiltrate the refugee vetting process “hearsay, and are at best speculative.” The Administration is facing another Texas refugee immigration lawsuit, this one concerning the executive orders the president issued in November 2014 regarding millions of immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
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