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Texas Sues US to Block Resettlement of 6 Syrian Refugees

  • Associated Press

FILE - Texas Governor Greg Abbott is among more than two dozen governors, mostly Republicans, who have vowed to keep Syrian refugees from resettling in their states.

FILE - Texas Governor Greg Abbott is among more than two dozen governors, mostly Republicans, who have vowed to keep Syrian refugees from resettling in their states.

Texas on Wednesday sued the U.S. government in an effort to block six Syrian refugees from resettling in Dallas this week.

The lawsuit came after the nonprofit International Rescue Committee defied orders from Republican Governor Greg Abbott to halt the arrival of Syrian refugees in Texas following the deadly attacks in Paris last month.

Texas, citing security concerns, wants to delay the arrival of the refugees for at least a week until a federal judge can hear the challenge.

Abbott is among more than two dozen governors, mostly Republicans, who have vowed to keep Syrian refugees from resettling in their states. The Obama administration has said states don't have the authority to block refugees.

The IRC has repeatedly noted that Syrian refugees are the most security-vetted group of people who come into the U.S., and it has said it will continue to help all refugees in accordance with its obligations under federal guidelines.

More than 170 Syrians have settled in the U.S. since the Paris attacks, including in states whose governors have resisted, according to U.S. State Department figures.

The Justice Department said it would review the complaint after formally receiving it. The White House declined to comment. The IRC did not immediately comment on the lawsuit.

Also Wednesday, Indiana's governor said he had asked a Roman Catholic archdiocese to not bring a Syrian refugee family to the state.

The archdiocese said the family of four is expected to arrive later this month after a two-year vetting process. Spokesman Greg Otolski noted it might not happen if Indiana was perceived to be hostile or unwelcoming.

Governor Mike Pence said that in the wake of the Paris attacks, he couldn't justify making an exception for the family. Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin said he would be considering what steps to take next.

Also Wednesday, the Indianapolis-based Exodus Refugee Immigration requested a temporary hold on Pence's order. In a federal court filing, the organization said Pence's action would "frustrate and thwart'' its mission of helping refugees and that it would be difficult to make up the lost government funding. A judge is scheduled to talk Monday with attorneys from both sides to set a hearing.

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