US Federal judge temporarily halts Trump administration policy allowing local governments to block refugees
Texas governor says state will reject refugees, becoming first state to decline resettlement under Trump executive order
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas governor says state will reject refugees, becoming first state to decline resettlement under Trump executive order.In a letter released Friday, Abbott wrote that Texas “has been left by Congress to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system.” He added that Texas, which typically takes in thousands of refugees each year, has done "more than its share.
State and local officials cannot block refugee admissions in their jurisdictions, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, finding the Trump administration’s new refugee policy is likely “unlawful.”
U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte of Maryland temporarily halted President Trump’s executive order requiring governors and local officials nationwide to agree in writing to welcome refugees.
Trump asks Supreme Court to let immigrant 'public charge' rule take effect
The Trump administration on Monday asked the Supreme Court to allow it to move forward with a rule aimed at cutting back benefits for immigrants while litigation plays out in court.The Justice Department, on behalf of the administration, asked the justices to lift a nationwide halt on President Trump's "public charge" rule that links immigrants' legal status to their use of public benefits.The move came after a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit last week kept in place a nationwide injunction entered by a federal district judge in New York.
“Giving states and local governments the power to consent to the resettlement of refugees — which is to say veto power to determine whether refugees will be received in their midst — flies in the face of clear Congressional intent,” Messitte wrote in.
The judge said the administration’s order and “grant of veto power is arbitrary and capricious as well as inherently susceptible to hidden bias.”
The ruling came in response to a lawsuit filed by three refugee resettlement agencies that work with the State Department to welcome adults and children who fled war and persecution overseas.
Trump issued thein September to give locals a voice in the federal resettlement process for the first time and vowed to resettle refugees only in areas “that are eager and equipped to support their successful integration into American society and the labor force.”
Judge rules in favor of administration on family separations at border
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But the resettlement agencies argued in court that the new consent requirement, and threatens to dismantle a support network that connects refugees to housing, jobs and English classes needed to start their new lives in the United States. And, critics argued nothing in Trump’s order prevents refugees from ultimately relocating to states such as Texas that have said they do not want new refugees.
The resettlement agencies had asked Messitte to rule swiftly because approval letters are due beginning Jan. 21 if refugees are to start arriving in June.
So far, 42 governors and more than 100 local governments have signed letters of acceptance, according to the Lutheran Immigration Refugee Service, one of the resettlement agencies that filed the lawsuit. Seven states have not said whether they will accept refugees: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Hawaii and Wyoming.
Some asylum-seekers returned to Mexico get attorney access
A federal judge ruled Tuesday that some asylum-seekers who fear waiting in Mexico for U.S. immigration court hearings must have access to attorneys before and during a key interview to determine if they can stay in the U.S. until their claims are decided. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Tuesday, March 19, 2019, file photo, attorney Robyn Barnard, left, speaks to reporters in front of immigration court in San Diego. A federal judge ruled Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, that some asylum-seekers who fear waiting in Mexico for U.S.
Texaslast week to publicly refuse to resettle new refugees, with Gov. Greg Abbott (R) saying the state has “carried more than its share.” The state received more refugees than any state last fiscal year.
Trump issued the order after hefor this fiscal year at a historic low of 18,000, down from 110,000 in 2016.
Trump administration lawyers defended the policy, calling the new approach a “common-sense requirement” for “enhanced consultation” with local governments that they said in court filings should take place before refugees are settled “within their borders.” Administration officials said the impact of the order is limited because refugees could still travel anywhere in the United States once they are legally admitted.
In court last week, the judge repeatedly expressed skepticism that Trump has the power to allow individual governors and county executives to block the settlement of refugees in their jurisdictions.
Justice Department lawyer Bradley Humphreys said the consent order does not give local officials “veto” power and noted that the secretary of state could overrule a local determination.
Senators urge Trump administration not to allow more guest worker visas, say program harms US workers
Republican and Democratic senators on Wednesday urged the Trump administration not to approve an additional number of foreign guest workers this year without significant reforms to the controversial program -- which they say incentivizes employers to hire foreign workers over their American counterparts. © Provided by FOX News “While we understand the needs of employers who legitimately rely on seasonal H-2B workers if American workers cannot meet the demand, we continue to have concerns about the harmful impact that the program has on both American workers and foreign guest workers,” says the letter signed by Sens.
The refugee groups said the rule could prevent refugees from being reunited with their U.S.-based families in communities that have long welcomed refugees.
“While states and localities should be consulted about resettlement, they should not get to decide where or whether refugees are resettled,” according to the lawsuit filed by the International Refugee Assistance Project on behalf of HIAS, Church World Service, and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service.
Attorneys said the president’s executive order is at odds with federal law and faulted the administration for failing to provide sufficient justification or opportunity for comment before imposing a new requirement on the refugee agencies, which apply annually for federal money.
The Justice Department lawyer said there is no notice requirement for such changes, and that the lawsuit is premature because no decisions about funding for the refugee organizations have been made.
“Is there any limit to what you can do in an executive order?” Messitte asked during the court hearing. “You’re sort of making it up as you go along?”
U.S. states sue to block White House from allowing 3-D-printed guns .
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