States that refuse to help resettle Syrian refugees are guilty of illegal discrimination, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, delivering a judicial rebuke to GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, who, as Indiana’s governor, had tried to stop Syrians from being shipped into his state.
Judge Richard Posner, writing for the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, said there’s no evidence that Syrians are more dangerous than other refugees, and he said even if they are, allowing Indiana to refuse to resettle them would only foist the problem onto neighboring states.
“Federal law does not allow a governor to deport to other states immigrants he deems dangerous,” Judge Posnerwrote.
He said if Mr. Pence has worries, the governor should report his fears to federal bureaucrats for redress.
The court said Indiana agencies don’t have to cooperate with the federal government, but the state can’t ban Syrian refugees, nor can it order nonprofit groups to stop helping the resettlement efforts.