Alabama Follows Texas, Sues US Government Over Refugee Program
Jan 11, 2016 03:58 AM EST
Alabama Governor sued the United States government for not consulting them with the refugees' settlement in their state. Texas did the same last month and now Alabama is doing it too after the Pari attacks.
Gov. Robert Bentley says the Obama administration is deliberately eliminating the states and not giving critical data about refugees desired to guard the health and safety of inhabitants, stated NPR. It was on the Refugee Act of 1980 that federal government should regularly check the state government over refugees. The lawsuit stated that the Obama administration did not follow this rule.
ABC 3340 reported that spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis said the lawsuit was filed on Thursday. The republican governor said last year that they would not accept Syrian refugees unless he has the complete information about them including medical history. Governor Bentley said his first concern is the citizen's safety. The lawsuit wants the defendants to declare that they have breached their consultation responsibilities and obligations to the State of Alabama under the Refugee Act of 1980. They also wanted a comprehensive file on each of the refugees to contain medical history, if they win the lawsuit.
They also want certificates that states the refugees is in no way dangerous. Lastly, they demand the government to not place refugees within the state except if they have gratified those duties and obligations to the State of Alabama.
According to ABC News, the federal government is in control of the resettlement programs, and specialists have said states have no right to refuse refugees from moving to their jurisdictions. The complaint is fuelling xenophobia and creating an environment full of hate and violence, said Kristi Graunke, senior supervising attorney with legal advocacy group the Southern Poverty Law Center's Immigrant Justice Project. He also criticized the governor and his lawsuit saying he was grandstanding it.
Department of Justice does not have a comment about this. The Obama administration reiterated that states cannot decline the refugees. They also explained that nothing in the law necessitates the government to give states person-specific information on individual refugees before they are resettled.