Federal government seeks to dismiss Alabama’s Syrian refugee lawsuit

Syrian refugees
Syrian refugees. [Photo Credit: AP Photo/Bilal Hussein]

On the heels of a Texas losing its fight against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state, the federal government is seeking to dismiss a similar lawsuit brought by the state of Alabama.

Both Texas and Alabama sued the federal government in January over unwanted Syrian refugee placement in their respective states, seeking to block the arrival of people fleeing the war-torn country.

On behalf of the federal government, a lawyer filed notice of the Texas court decision on June 16, asking once again that the case be dismissed.

The following day, lawyers for the state of Alabama argued the differences in their case and asked that it be continued.

In January, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state of Alabama, stating federal officials are in violation of the Refugee Act of 1980, which he contends requires a consultation with states regarding the placement of refugees before those refugees are placed within its borders. This, despite the fact that U.S. Supreme Court precedent has held repeatedly that matters of immigration and asylum are the responsibility of the federal government.

“As governor, the Alabama Constitution gives me the sovereign authority and solemn duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of all citizens of Alabama. The process and manner in which the Obama Administration and the federal government are executing the Refugee Reception Program is blatantly excluding the states,” Bentley said in January when he filed the suit.

Bentley made national headlines when he was among the first of several Republican governors to declare they would not accept refugees from war-torn Syria within their states’ borders.

Watch Gov. Bentley’s lawsuit announcement from January below:


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