Federal Judge Tanya Pratt ruled that the State of Indiana must allow Syrian refugees to settle within the state. This lawsuit started after the 2015 Paris attacks when Governor turned Vice President, Mike Pence, issued an order that stopped Indiana state agencies from providing federal assistance funds to refugees agencies that helped Syrians. At that time the order was made, Pence stated that it was a matter of national security. Exodus Refugee Immigration filed the federal lawsuit, with help from the ACLU of Indiana, and alleged that Pence’s order violated equal protection laws and the Civil Rights Act by discrimination due to nationality.
Judge Pratt: State of Indiana’s Conduct Clearly Discriminatory
Judge Pratt’s ruling was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit after the temporary injunction was issued. In her ruling for the temporary injunction concluded that “the State’s conduct clearly discriminates against Syrian refugees based on their national origin.” She went on to say in her ruling that “the withholding of funds from Exodus that are meant to provide social services to Syrian refugees in no way directly, or even indirectly, promotes the safety of Indiana citizens.”
ACLU Indiana: Failed Refugee Ban Was “Shameful”
The Executive Director of the ACLU of Indiana, which helped Exodus Refugee Immigration with their lawsuit, Jane Henegar, issued a statement that when Mike Pence tried to block refugee resettlement that it “offended our values as Hoosiers” and that “it violated the Constitution and federal law as well.”
Henegar went on to say in her statement that “Indiana’s failed refugee ban was a shameful retreat from our values and a preview of discriminatory policies like the Muslim Ban, which the ACLU continues to fight at every turn.”
Pence’s Press Secretary Praises Trump for Proper Security Measures That Enabled Indiana to “Settle”
Vice President Pence’s Press Secretary, Alyssa Farah, told the Indy Star that the purpose of Pence’s initial order was to ensure national security. She went on to state that it was because of Trump’s leadership that Indiana could “settle” the matter. “When the now-Vice President was serving as governor he directed all state agencies to stop resettling Syrian refugees in Indiana until the federal government could provide credible assurances that proper security measures are in place. Now, under President Trump’s leadership, proper security measures are being implemented – it makes sense that Indiana would settle.”
In effort to provide clarity, we would like to remind readers that the State of Indiana appealed the temporary injunction and lost. They did not settle the lawsuit.