ACLU wants judge to block Gov. Mike Pence's refugee order

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By: Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The latest in the dispute over the Indiana governor’s attempt to prevent Syrian refugees from resettling in the state (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

A nonprofit group that assists refugees and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana say they’ll ask a judge to put on hold Gov. Mike Pence’s order that state agencies stop helping with the resettlement of Syrian refugees.

The ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit against Pence on behalf of Indianapolis-based nonprofit Exodus Refugee Immigration.

ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said he would ask a federal judge Tuesday to prevent Pence from blocking state agencies from spending federal money to provide services such as housing and medical care to refugees.

The lawsuit argues that the U.S. Constitution and federal law prevents states from refusing to accept refugees based on their nationality.

Pence said last week, after the deadly attacks in Paris, that he was concerned about militants possibly infiltrating the United States through the refugee program.

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2:30 a.m.

Gov. Mike Pence is being sued for blocking Syrian refugees from resettling in Indiana.

The Indianapolis Star reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana filed the lawsuit Monday night on behalf of Indianapolis-based nonprofit Exodus Refugee Immigration. It accuses Pence of violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act by accepting refugees from other countries but not from Syria.

The lawsuit comes about a week after Pence objected to plans for refugees to arrive in Indiana following the deadly attacks in Paris. A family that fled war-torn Syria was diverted from Indianapolis to Connecticut on Nov. 18 when Pence ordered state agencies to halt resettlement activities.

An official from Pence’s office didn’t return the newspaper’s request for comment late Monday.