The Department of Justice declared Friday that Texas had no right to stop Syrian refugees from being settled in Texas and that the refugees who were slated to land in the state Friday posed no harm.
According to the brief, DOJ argued that the federal government, not the states have jurisdiction to settle refugees under the Refugee Act of 1980 and that the federal government has kept Texas up to date on its intentions to place Syrians in the state.
DOJ also stated that none of the individuals coming to Texas –who have been vetted in a multi-agency check– presented a threat to the state of Texas.
“The Syrian refugees who are currently scheduled to for resettlement in Texas
within the next two weeks consist of displaced Syrian families—children, their parents, and in one case their grandparents—and a single woman
who seeks to be reunited with her mother,” the report said. “Plaintiff has made no showing that these refugees pose any threat, much less an imminent one, to the safety or security of Texas residents or any other Americans.”
According to the DOJ filing none of the refugees are scheduled to arrive before Monday, Dec. 7.
The families arrived in New York on Dec. 3 and Dec. 4 where families will stay in a hotel until initial entry requirements are finished. Then on Dec. 7, the federal government will transport families to Texas.
“As with any similarly situated refugees, once they arrive in the United States, these families are free to travel throughout the country. They are not in detention and are not required to travel to Texas if they decline to do so,” the brief noted. “By the same token, they may leave for any destination at any time if they so wish, albeit without the assistance of the Federal Government.”
Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.