States Must Accept Refugees, Judge Rules, Blocking Trump’s Order

Texas became the first state to announce that it would no longer take refugees.

Residents holding signs in support of refugee resettlement at a meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota, last month.James MacPherson/AP

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A federal judge has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s executive order that allows states to refuse to resettle refugees. Last week, Texas announced that it would stop accepting refugees under President Donald Trump’s September order, although 40 states have affirmed that they will continue to take them in.  

In a preliminary injunction issued on Wednesday, Maryland federal district court judge Peter Messitte decided that allowing Executive Order 13888 to remain in effect is likely illegal. Messitte wrote: 

By giving States and Local Governments the power to veto where refugees may be resettled—in the face of clear statutory text and structure, purpose, Congressional intent, executive practice, judicial holdings, and Constitutional doctrine to the contrary—Order 13888 does not appear to serve the overall public interest. Granting the preliminary injunctive relief Plaintiffs seek does. Refugee resettlement activity should go forward as it developed for the almost 40 years before Executive Order 13888 was announced. 

Read Messitte’s opinion below:

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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