Federal Judge Temporarily Halts Trump Administration Policy Allowing Local Governments To Block Refugees

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State and local officials cannot block refugees from being resettled in their jurisdictions, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, finding the Trump administration’s new refu­gee policy is likely “unlawful” and “does not appear to serve the overall public interest.”

U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte of Maryland temporarily halted President Trump’s executive order requiring governors and local officials nationwide to agree in writing to welcome refugees.

“Giving states and local governments the power to consent to the resettlement of refugees — which is to say veto power to determine whether refugees will be received in their midst — flies in the face of clear Congressional intent,” Messitte wrote in a 31-page decision.

The judge said the administration’s grant of a veto power is “arbitrary and capricious as well as inherently susceptible to hidden bias.”

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