Pence Suffers a Double Blow on Syrian Refugees

On the eve of Tuesday's vice presidential debate, Gov. Mike Pence's efforts to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana suffered a series of devastating blows, with his preferred successor running away from the idea and a second court deciding that his attempt to block resettlement aid was discriminatory.
October 5, 2016 AT 12:55 PM

On the eve of Tuesday's vice presidential debate, Gov. Mike Pence's efforts to keep Syrian refugees out of Indiana suffered a series of devastating blows, with his preferred successor running away from the idea and a second court deciding that his attempt to block resettlement aid was discriminatory.

Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb, Pence's handpicked candidate to replace him on the Republican ticket, said after the gubernatorial debate Monday night he would not keep the ban on aid to Syrian refugees in place if elected.

“I would continue to allow the refugees to come in here and find safe haven," he said.

It was Holcomb's first major policy break with Pence, who appointed Holcomb as his lieutenant governor in March and then backed his bid to fill the ballot vacancy left when Pence became Donald Trump's vice presidential running mate in July. Since then, Pence has poured more than $1.2 million into Holcomb's campaign for governor.

Holcomb's comments came on the heels of a unanimous appeals court ruling earlier in the day that found Pence's effort to block resettlement aid was both discriminatory and lacked evidence of a public safety threat. One of the three judges who ruled on the case was Diane Sykes, who Trump listed in May as one of 11 potential Supreme Court appointees to replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

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