Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Texas anti-refugee lawsuit dismissed


Texas on Thursday lost its fight against the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state, ending a months-long battle during which refugees from the war-torn country continued to arrive.

Dealing the final blow to Gov. Greg Abbott’s effort to keep Syrian refugees out of the state, a federal judge dismissed Texas’ lawsuit against the federal government and a refugee resettlement agency over the resettlement of the refugees.

In an order dated Wednesday and released Thursday, Dallas-based U.S. District Judge David Godbey said the state did not have grounds to sue the federal government over this and failed to provide a “plausible claim” that a refugee resettlement nonprofit breached its contract.

The judge’s dismissal comes after several failed attempts by state Attorney General Ken Paxton to block the arrival of Syrian refugees to the state. Texas first filed suit in December against the federal government and the International Rescue Committee — one of about 20 private nonprofits that have a state contract to resettle refugees in Texas — saying they were violating federal law by moving forward with the planned resettlement of Syrian refugees.


Paxton’s office in December dropped its first request for an order to block the resettlement of two Syrian families that arrived in Houston and Dallas that month. Godbey then knocked down a second request to bar nine other Syrian refugees from arriving in Texas. But the state moved forward with its lawsuit, saying the federal government was required to consult with the state in advance of any additional refugee placements.

Godbey on Thursday reiterated in his ruling that the state “lacks a cause of action” to enforce that consultation requirement.

Meanwhile, the International Rescue Committee celebrated the win. The judge’s dismissal “upholds and affirms” the United States’ history of providing refuge for those fleeing violence, Jennifer Sime, a senior vice president with the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement.

“The court is unequivocal in validating the lawfulness of the refugee resettlement program and reaffirms Texas’ legacy in welcoming refugees,” Sime added.

See here for the background. Just a reminder, it’s faith-based organizations that have been the ones working to resettle the refugees in Texas. It all has to do with that biblical what-would-Jesus-do stuff that Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton love to talk about when it suits their political agenda, but only then. In the meantime, over 200 Syrian refugees have been relocated to Texas, and the earth has continued to rotate on its axis. Let this now be the end of this foolishness.

Related Posts:


  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I’m sure all the refugees that will be flooding Texas will be strong supporters of the GBLT movement, considering their country of origin and their own religious values. Remember the Orlando shooter? These folks grew up in and were taught in an environment JUST LIKE the shooter and his father.

    It would be more humane and cheaper to relocate refugees from Syria to a safe zone IN SYRIA, so that if and when the conflict winds down, they can fix their own country. And with less money spent to help each individual refugee, MORE total refugees could be helped.

    Are we trying to help people, or are we just interested in making a political statement. Question is for both sides of the aisle.

  2. Linkmeister says:

    Um. The Orlando shooter was born and raised in Queens, NYC, only a few miles from where Donald Trump was born.

    There are no safe zones in Syria. What may look safe today is liable to be attacked tomorrow.

    10,000 refugees from Syria (what Obama promised) or 2,000 (the number who’ve actually been admitted so far) are hardly likely to overwhelm this country. Imagine if you lived in Turkey, which has taken in 2 million. Or Germany, which has taken in more than 1 million.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Yes, the Orlando shooter was born and raised here….to parents from the old country, with old country values….the kind of values where GBLT folks are the first ones against the wall.

    Germany and other Western countries taking in massive amounts of refugees are committing cultural, if not literal suicide. Belgium? France? We can see exactly what will go wrong, yet we want to do the same thing? Where would you like the “no go zones” in Houston? The Heights? Midtown? Third Ward?

    If you don’t want to sequester the Syrian refugees in Syria, at least consider sending them to other Muslim countries where they have similar language and cultural norms.

    As an anecdotal observation, I saw quite a few “out and proud” GBLT folks at the Trump rally. Even they might be figuring out that this importation is bad for them, personally. Watching the news, it appears some of them are even deciding that becoming gun owners is the thing to do.