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Judge Dismisses Alabama’s Suit Against U.S. Over Refugees

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Trocaire, Flickr

A federal judge has dismissed Alabama’s lawsuit against the U.S. government over potential Syrian refugee resettlement. The state had claimed the U.S. had not properly consulted with local leaders on a matter involving citizen security.

After the Paris terror attacks in November, Governor Robert Bentley and other state leaders declared that Alabama would not accept Syrian refugees. The lawsuit filed in January was based partly on the Refugee Act of 1980, which says the U.S. has to “consult regularly” with state and local governments about potential placement.

But Chief Magistrate Judge John E. Ott yesterday dismissed the suit, partly because claims the U.S. failed to adequately consult or provide sufficient information about refugees were “vague.”

Late last night in response to the ruling, Bentley released a statement saying, “My problem is not with individual refugees … The federal government has a total disregard for the states (sic) safety.” Critics say the suit was a political stunt that increased Islamophobia.

Alabama has 60 days to file an appeal.