Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a complaint in federal court against the United States, State Department and the International Rescue Committee, seeking a stay of federal plans to settle any Syrian refugees in the state. Paxton’s suit comes as plans for a group of Syrian refugees are scheduled to arrive this week in Dallas, Texas, per the plans of the International Rescue Committee. Paxton has cited the Refugee Act of 1980 which requires that the federal government “shall consult regularly” with state and local governments and private nonprofit agencies concerning the intended distribution of refugees and the government has failed to do so.
“While Texans are compassionate to our core, and take in more refugees than any other state, significant security concerns have been raised about President Obama’s plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, nationwide,” Paxton said in a statement. “The federal government’s stated inability to run effective background checks on these refugees, entering the United States from one of the world’s most potent hotbeds of terrorism, puts all Texans at risk.”
The International Rescue Committee responded in a statement that it has “worked in coordination with Texas officials for 40 years.” Many legal experts say that the federal government has broad discretion concerning who gets to come into the country and that the states cannot block their borders.