ACLU of Indiana Statement on Syrian Refugee Appeals Court Hearing

Sept. 14, 2016

The following statement may be attributed to Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana Executive Director:

Earlier this year, a U.S. District Court Judge agreed with the ACLU: Indiana Governor Mike Pence's attempt to stop Syrian refugees from settling in Indiana is unconstitutional discrimination on the basis of national origin and the directive violates federal law.

Today our legal team, led by ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk, represented a nonprofit refugee resettlement organization, Exodus Refugee Immigration, before a three-judge panel in the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago.

The panel included Judges Richard Posner, Frank H. Easterbrook and Diane S. Sykes. Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher represented the Governor and the State of Indiana.

Today's panel asked many questions, such as, "When Indiana says it is only banning refugees from Syria but not on the basis of their national origin, the only response can be a broad smile," and, "The Governor of Indiana knows more about refugees than the State Department does?"

The judges were highly critical of the State's reasoning and defense of the Governor's actions. It is next to impossible to determine how a Court may decide based upon its interaction with lawyers during arguments. However, we are optimistic that the State of Indiana will not be able to discriminate against refugees fleeing violence and war on the basis of national origin. We anticipate a decision within the next few months.

Case information: Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc. v. Pence, et al.Appellate Cause No. 16-1509

Please check back here for a link to the oral arguments after the Court posts them online.

Follow this case on social media @acluindiana - #7thCircuit #RefugeesWelcome 

Links to prior statements about this case and legal documents:

 

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