Texas officials are seeking a court order to block a national charity from resettling Syrian refugees in the state, The Dallas Morning News reports. The legal challenge filed Wednesday on behalf of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission names several top Obama administration officials alongside the International Rescue Committee as defendants.
The New York-based charity, which has a contract with the U.S. State Department to place refugees, has said it will follow through on plans to resettle Syrian families in Texas this week, over Gov. Greg Abbott's objections. Mr. Abbott is among more than two dozen mostly Republican governors who have sought since the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks to halt relocation of Syrians to their states. While refugee resettlement is a federal matter, the lawsuit contends that the International Rescue Committee is breaching a contractual requirement to "consult with the state in advance on placement of refugees in Texas."
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who is also seeking to block refugee resettlement, met with the Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph Tobin on Wednesday to ask that the Catholic archdiocese drop plans to place a Syrian family in the state, writes the Associated Press. Mr. Pence has ordered state agencies not to disburse federal money for refugee resettlement, but the church said it would use private funds on behalf of the family, which spent three years in a Jordanian refugee camp and underwent a two-year federal vetting process, the AP also reports.