Texan governor Greg Abbott tried to block the resettlement into the conservative state in the wake of November’s Paris attacks. He said refugees fleeing war-torn Syria could be “connected to terrorism” after ISIS terrorists killed 130 people in the French capital, not to mention 14 in San Berardino.
Star Herald But judge David Godbey rejected the calls, saying it would be “foolish” to deny there are risks following the Paris attacks, but state officials have never shown an imminent danger to the public and there is no evidence Texas would suffer irreparable harm by accepting refugees.
The decision by U.S. District Judge David Godbey is another setback for Republican leaders in Texas, which was the first state that sued the Obama administration over resettling families from the war-torn country but has failed to halt or even slow the arrival of any new refugees.
Godbey, who in December knocked Texas for offering “largely speculative hearsay” about extremists possibly infiltrating Syrian refugees, seemed to wink this time at the state demanding action from a judicial branch that GOP leaders often accuse of overreach.
“Somewhat ironically, Texas, perhaps the reddest of red states, asks a federal court to stick its judicial nose into this political morass, where it does not belong absent statutory authorization,” wrote Godbey, who was appointed to the Dallas court by former President George W. Bush.
A spokeswoman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said the Republican is evaluating his next options. “At a minimum, Texans deserve to know if the people moving into our communities and neighborhoods have a history of providing support to terrorists,” spokeswoman Katherine Wise said.
Barack Obama has pledged to take in at least 10,000 Syrian Muslims and as many as 200,000 this year. Republican hopeful Donald Trump sparked controversy when he called for all Muslims to be banned from entering the US in bid to tackle “radical Islamic terrorism.”
Nearly 30 states vowed to ban Syrian refugees following the Paris attacks, which occurred in November and have been linked to the Islamic State group operating in Syria.