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Texas Loses Case Over Syrian Refugee Resettlement

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A U.S. federal court threw out all claims against the International Rescue Committee and the federal defendants in a case brought by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which claimed that the government had breached a “statutory duty” by preventing Texas from getting information to examine the “security risk” presented by refugees before their arrival.

“Because the federal defendants’ alleged failure to consult with the commission prior to the resettlement of refugees does not constitute agency action, the commission lacks a cause of action under the Administrative Procedure Act,” the order stated.

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Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who are of special humanitarian concern to the United States and who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm. The United States Refugee Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-212) puts in place a permanent and systematic procedure to allow refugees into the United States for humanitarian reasons. The law also dictates a specific process for the effective resettlement of refugees.

The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), State and Health and Human Services (HHS) work together to uphold America’s humanitarian response to refugees through the U.S. Resettlement Program (USRP).

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