Thursday, September 15, 2016
Republican VP candidate, and Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, and some other GOP governors, made a political statement to the Obama administration in seeking to keep Syrian refugees out of their backyards Two conservative icons seem to be willing to put the kibosh on that.
Matt Ford for The Atlantic reports that, in a heated oral argument yesterday, two of the nation’s most prominent (and conservative) federal judges "eviscerated the legal rationale for Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s efforts to block the federal government from resettling Syrian refugees there."
Judges Richard Posner and Frank Easterbrook in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clashed with Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher during oral arguments in Exodus Refugee International v. Pence, one of the legal battles surrounding the Obama administration’s admission of Syrian refugees.
“Honestly, you are so out of it,” Posner told Fisher at one point after a lengthy back-and-forth about whether refugees from Syria had been unfairly singled out. “You don’t think there are dangers from other countries?”
At stake was an executive order issued by Governor Pence last November after the Paris terrorist attacks. The governor’s directive barred state agencies from disbursing federal grant money to refugee resettlement organizations that assist Syrian refugees. Exodus, one of the organizations affected, sued Pence and the state shortly thereafter, alleging equal-protection and civil-rights violations. A federal district court sided with Exodus in February.
It is unfortunate that some states have yet to learn the fundamental principle that the federal government controls immigration admission and removal decisions. Arizona v. United States (2012) could not really be clealer on that point.