Ruling from three judge panel for US Court of Appeals for 7th Circuit blasted Governor Mike Pence of Indiana and upheld a preliminary injunction that blocked efforts by the state to stop Syrian refugee family resettlement in Indiana. Pence is the running mate of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee.
No proof of terrorism
The judges said that was no evidence which proves that Syrians make a beeline for Indiana. Judge Richard Posner, who penned the opinion, was extremely critical of arguments which were presented by the state. He noted that there was no evidence that terrorists from Syria posed as refugees. He also said that there was no proof that Syrian refugees have ever done terrorist related acts inside the United States. The judge further said that it is a “nightmare speculation”.
The language adopted by the court towards the state can only be described as stinging. It dismissed the argument of the state that the latter must protect its residents at any cost. Posner completely rubbished the idea of the state that its policy is only based on threats the governor believes may infringe on the safety of Indiana citizens. The judge said that Pence’s argument on the policy of excluding the Syrian refugees is not based on nationality and thus not discriminatory, is based only on the threat the governor believes on Indiana residents’ safety. Posner went on to say that this thinking is equal to saying that the governor wants to prohibit black people to come to live in Indiana not because of them being black, but he is afraid of them. Since race does not factor in this, it is not discriminatory. This is similar to targeting Syrian refugees on basis of nationality. The judge reminded Indiana state that refugees entering the US from war shredded Syria need to ho through multiple screening layers by the Federal Government prior to admitting them into American soil.
This ruling is a victory for Exodus- a private agency which assists refugees inside Indiana State. The President of the United States is authorized by Immigration and Nationality Act to determine the number of refugees that can be admitted every year. In 2016, the number was fixed at 85,000. Among them, 10,000 originated from Syria. For a state to get federal money, it must submit to Office of Refugee Resettlement a good plan to use the money for the assistance of refugees. The state then contracts a private resettlement agency for provision of the social services. Pence, however, refused to provide money for services of any Syrian refugee.