March 30, 2016

Federal Judge Denies State's Request For Stay In Refugee Suit

INDIANAPOLIS -- A federal judge will not temporarily halt her ruling on Indiana's refugee resettlement program. The state will have to provide funding to refugee resettlement organizations while the legal battle over money for resettlement continues.

Indiana’s refugee resettlement program funnels federal money to organizations that help resettle refugees in the state.  Gov. Mike Pence in December announced he was suspending that program for Syrian refugees, cutting off money from resettlement groups such as Exodus Immigration. He said public safety concerns prompted that action. 

Exodus Immigration filed a lawsuit seeking to block Pence’s move, and a federal judge last month ruled in its favor. The state is appealing that decision and, in the meantime, asked the judge to halt the effects of her ruling until the Appeals Court could render its decision.  The judge denied that request. 

The Indiana Attorney General’s office says that decision has no impact on its appeal.  And the ACLU of Indiana, representing Exodus, says it’s pleased the judge recognizes that the state can’t ban refugees based on their national origin.  The federal Appeals Court hasn’t announced a timetable to hear the state’s appeal.

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