ACLU of Indiana celebrates courts decision to strike down Syrian ban

In this photo from Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Syrian refugee Fatema, left, sits beside her sleeping 5-year-old son Ayham at the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in New Haven, Conn. The family was diverted to Connecticut last year after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said they were not welcome in that state. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
In this photo from Friday, Sept. 2, 2016, Syrian refugee Fatema, left, sits beside her sleeping 5-year-old son Ayham at the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services in New Haven, Conn. The family was diverted to Connecticut last year after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence said they were not welcome in that state. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/WLFI) – The ACLU of Indiana will hold a press conference in celebration of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision to strike down Gov. Mike Pence’s administration to ban Syrian refugees from resettling in Indiana.

A lawsuit was filed in November 2015 by Exodus Refugee Immigration, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and ACLU national saying the actions of the ban discriminated against Syrian refugees on the basis of national origin, violating both equal protection and civil rights laws and intrude on authority that is exclusively federal.

“The Court of Appeals’ decision underscores what we have said throughout this litigation,” said Ken Falk, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana. “Gov. Pence may not constitutionally or legally discriminate against a particular nationality of refugees that are extensively vetted by the federal government.”

Exodus Refugee Immigration – an Indiana-based group which has provided help to refugees and those immigrating to the U.S. – won a lower court battle with a preliminary injunction being granted against the Pence administration months ago after Pence directed state agencies to stop the cash flow of federal dollars.

The judges noted in their ruling that unless they affirmed the lower court’s injunction, Exodus might not receive the funds it needs to continue its work.

The court essentially found that the Pence administration could not legally withhold federal dollars from these agencies that helps those immigrating to the country.