U.S. judge again denies Texas request to
bar Syrian refugees
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[February 09, 2016]
By Jon Herskovitz
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. judge
denied for the second time a request by Texas to bar relief agencies
from bringing Syrian refugees into the state, a decision that could have
a bearing on the attempts of 30 other governors to block refugees from
U.S. District Judge David Godbey said the Republican leaders who
have fought the resettlement have not shown Texas would suffer
irreparable harm. The same judge rejected in December the state's
request for a restraining order saying the evidence presented was
"largely speculative hearsay."
"The Court does not deny that the Syrian refugees pose some risk.
That would be foolish," Godbey wrote in the decision. "In our
country, however, it is the federal executive that is charged with
assessing and mitigating that risk, not the states and not the
Democratic President Barack Obama has pledged to take in 10,000
people fleeing war-torn Syria and has so far admitted 2,000
refugees. Europe is dealing with millions of refugees fleeing
conflict in the Middle East and Africa.
After the Paris attacks in November, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a
Republican, was one of the first of more than 30 U.S. governors who
are seeking to block the resettlement of Syrians into their states.
Some legislators fear that Islamic State, which claimed credit for
the Paris attacks, will hide militants intent on carrying out more
killings among the influx of refugees entering the United States.
The federal government has tightened visa waiver rules for visitors
following the attacks in France that killed 130 people and
immigration has become a flashpoint in the November presidential
election in America.
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Since the fiscal year 2011, 243 Syrian refugees have resettled in
Texas, a U.S. court filing in December said, making the state one of
the main U.S. relocation sites since the Syrian civil war erupted
about five years ago.
Since Obama took office in January 2009, the most populous
Republican-controlled state has filed suit against his
administration 39 times on issues ranging from immigration to the
environment to abortion.
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