Court Tosses Alabama's Refugee Lawsuit Against the Feds

August 4, 2016

Alabama’s lawsuit against the U.S. government concerning the possible relocation of Syrian refugees to Alabama was dismissed July 29 in federal court.

In his opinion, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge John Ott granted the federal government’s March 8 motion to dismiss the lawsuit, because Alabama’s claim was too vague and “fails to state a claim for which relief may be granted.”

The lawsuit alleged that the federal government did not comply with the Refugee Act of 1980, which states that the federal government must consult with state governments “no less than quarterly” about potential refugee relocation.

After the lawsuit was announced, Gov. Robert Bentley said the lack of consultation failed to prepare Alabama for a possible influx of refugees.

Although the lawsuit does not mention Syrian refugees specifically, the lawsuit was filed Jan. 7, just two months after Bentley issued an executive order that Alabama would not accept Syrian refugees.

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