Indiana governor sued for refusing Syrian refugees

American Civil Liberties Union files suit against Indiana governor Mike Pence for refusing to accept resettlement of Syrian refugees

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Indiana governor Mike Pence is facing a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union over objecting to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state.

ACLU filed the suit on Monday, saying that such an action is “unconstitutional.”

The governor has stated that accepting Syrian refugees can be risky, after the Paris attacks that killed 130 people, as one of the theories suggested that the bomber posed as a refugee to enter France.

According to the lawsuit, ACLU says that on the refugee relocation issue state official has no decision making power.

"Attempts to pre-empt that authority violate both equal protection and civil rights laws and intrude on authority that is exclusively federal," ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said.

Sources say that one family to be resettled in Indiana was turned away and resettled in Connecticut instead.

US President Obama has so far maintained his positive position about accepting 10,000 refugees into the United States, despite the objection of many US states.

Even though Pence himself could not be reached for a statement, his spokeswoman Kara Brooks has said that the governor has the legal power to not participate in the programme presented by Obama.


"The governor believes that caution and compassion are not mutually exclusive. We can take measures to ensure the security of our nation even while we continue to extend support and refuge to people around the world fleeing from the ravages of hardship and war," she said.

The United States has accepted 1,682 Syrian refugees so far this year.

Indiana’s governor is not the only one objecting to resettling of Syrian refugees. Thirty-one other state governors from the right-wing Republican party announced that they will act similarly.

TRTWorld and agencies