NEW YORK, May 27, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC has filed an amicus brief in a case regarding the resettlement of Syrian refugees. It argues that "the State of Indiana unlawfully refused to award Refugee Act grants for services provided to Syrian refugees."
The case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. vs. Michael Spence Governor of the State of Indiana, seeks to uphold a lower court decision ordering the State of Indiana to continue funding for Syrian refugees in the state.
Last November, Governor Spence suspended the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana and refused to distribute U.S. funds specifically earmarked for refugee assistance agencies.
Indiana is one of a number of states that has participated in the U.S. Refugee Act program to accept refugees and distribute federal funds to local agencies, such as Exodus, a nonprofit based in Indianapolis.
In February, a district court granted Exodus's request for a preliminary injunction against the governor's decision. The Court based its decision on the Constitution's equal protection clause. The State filed an appeal on March 8.
In its brief, AJC argues that Indiana's attempt to exclude only Syrian, and no other, refugees violates the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, says the AJC brief, "AJC agrees with the U.S. government determination that it is in the best interest of our nation to admit Syrian refugees. It is not for Indiana, or any other state, to override that federal determination."
AJC has consistently advocated for maintaining America as a haven for people fleeing persecution, and for fair and generous immigration and refugee policies. It believes that such policies benefit the United States and are consistent with the best of both American and Jewish values.
The AJC amicus brief was prepared by Adam Lurie, Charles T. Pollak, and Efrat F. Fish of Linklaters LLP.
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SOURCE American Jewish Committee