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Judge Throws Out Texas Lawsuit To Stop Syrian Refugees

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Josh Hamburger Contributor

A federal court has thrown out a lawsuit brought on by Texas that sought to halt the settlement of Syrian refugees in the state.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission attempted to collect information from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) about refugees they were bringing to the area. However, District Court Judge David Godbey ruled on Wednesday that the commission lacked “a cause of action” for “advanced consultation” called for under the Refugee Act, according to the court document.

The court ruling focused on a specific case, in which IRC told the commission in December 2015 of its plan to bring six Syrian refugees to Dallas. The commission then demanded further details about these refugees, but IRC would not provide it because “the State Department had not authorized the disclosure of this information.”

The commission then threatened to cut funding or take legal action, asking IRC not to allow the refugee settlement. After IRC refused the order, the commission brought the lawsuit against them and the federal government for violating the Refugee Act in addition to “a breach of contract” for not according with the law.

However, Judge Godbey dismissed the charges, pointing out that the state has no veto power in refugee cases. Instead, the law only allows “their input into the process and to improve their resettlement planning capacity.”

Texas is not alone in its attempt to bar Syrian refugees, though. The majority of governors have made statements opposing letting refugees into their states, due mostly in part to security issues.