Appeals court upholds order against Pence on Syrian refugees
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal appeals court on Monday dismissed as "nightmare speculation" Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's fears that Syrian refugees could commit acts of terror, siding with a judge who blocked Pence's order seeking to prevent agencies from helping resettle the immigrants in the state.
The ruling by a three-judge panel for the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago affirmed a preliminary injunction that a federal judge in Indianapolis issued in February. That judge found last year's order by the Republican governor, now Donald Trump's running mate, "clearly discriminates" against refugees from the war-torn nation.
Pence was among dozens of governors from mostly GOP states who attempted to block Syrian refugees following the terror attacks last November in Paris, saying there were questions about the federal government's refugee screening process.
Pence's order sought to bar state agencies from providing federal funds for groups, including Indianapolis-based Exodus Refugee Immigration, that help Syrian refugees with housing, medical and social services and job training.
But the appeals court, which subjected Indiana's solicitor general to unusually fierce questioning during arguments before the panel in September, said in Monday's ruling that federal law does not allow a governor "to deport to other states immigrants he deems dangerous."
Jordan Corona, freshman architecture major
"I think that as long as they undergo background checks then it's fine. I've noticed a lot of people say, 'Oh, if such-and-such becomes president, I'm leaving the country,' and that's not really fair because we're denying other people access and shelter from their countries," Corona said.
Carisa Burgos, sophomore actuarial science major
"I agree with the court on that it is against the law ... it's not equal for them to just to be blocked because they're Syrian refugees," Burgos said.
Davonna Tarver, freshman fashion major
"Some people who just want to get away and start over [in the United States] should have that opportunity," Tarver said.
Brandon Williams, junior criminal justice major
"I definitely believe we should be allowing them in. They're here for refuge, they're here to be safe from a conflict that's tearing up their nation," Williams said.