Texas Sues to Keep Out Syrian Refugee Family

They could cause 'irreparable injury,' lawsuit says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2015 5:05 AM CST
Visitors sit in the office of the International Rescue Committee on Dec. 16, 2014, in Abilene, Texas.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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(Newser) – Texas could suffer "irreparable injury" if three generations of a family that fled the Syrian civil war are allowed to fly to Dallas from Jordan on Friday, according to the state's lawyers. Texas has filed a lawsuit to prevent the refugees—a man named Tamman, his wife, their two young children, and his parents—from being resettled in the state, reports the Houston Chronicle. The lawsuit, which names the federal government as well as the International Rescue Committee nonprofit, says state officials have not been consulted about the resettlement or given enough information on background checks, the Texas Tribune reports. Texas is one of around 30 states trying to block Syrian refugees, which President Obama says they don't have the legal authority to do.

Texas first threatened the lawsuit days ago, arguing that under federal law, the resettlement group is required to cooperate with the state. Aid worker Anne Marie Weiss-Armush tells the Chronicle that two Dallas-area apartments have already been obtained for the family, who have a relative that was resettled in Texas earlier this year and now works at Walmart. "It's kind of nerve-wrecking because it really is a test case," she says. "It's like, is Gov. Abbott going to meet them at the airport and send them away?" The AP reports that Texas has taken in 243 Syrians over the last five years, and the IRC plans to bring in another family of four next week. "Refugees are victims of terror, not terrorists, and the families we help have always been welcomed by the people of Texas," the group said in a statement. "The IRC acts within the spirit and letter of the law, and we are hopeful that this matter is resolved soon." (Read more Texas stories.)

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