Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Executive Order Allowing States to Ban Refugee Resettlement After Lawsuit by Faith-Based Groups

A federal judge has put a halt to an executive order that allowed local and state governments to prohibit the resettlement of refugees, siding with a coalition of faith-based charity groups.

U.S. District Court Judge Peter Messitte of the District of Maryland granted a preliminary injunction Wednesday against the executive order in response to a lawsuit filed by Church World Service, the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, and HIAS, a Jewish group.

In his decision, Messitte argued that “giving states and local governments the power to consent to the resettlement of refugees … flies in the face of clear congressional intent, as expressed in the legislative history of the statute.”

CWS President, the Rev. John L. McCullough, celebrated the ruling in a statement posted to the group’s Facebook page Wednesday.

“This ruling means that newly arriving refugees won’t have to choose between being together and accessing critical services as they rebuild their lives,” McCullough wrote.

“It means that people of faith can continue to live out their calling to welcome the stranger.”

HIAS President Mark J. Hetfield also supported the decision, saying in a statement that he believed it “shows the country how this administration was wrong to attempt a state-by-state refugee ban.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski