On Wednesday, January 15, U.S. District Judge Peter Messite issued a preliminary injunction against President Trump’s latest executive order, which allows state and local officials to deny the resettlement of refugees in their communities. Trump argued this executive order was put in place due to concerns of overpopulation and strain on public resources.
The White House said in a statement that under the 1980 Refugee Act, Congress afforded the President authority over the refugee resettlement process. Judge Messitte disagreed, noting that the president’s order “flies in the face of clear Congressional intent” of the 1980 Refugee Act by allowing state and local governments to block the resettlement of refugees in their jurisdictions.
Previously, refugee resettlement agencies held the power to decide where refugees would be best suited to stay initially. This method of resettlement will resume during the pendency of the preliminary injunction.