Judge Won’t Block Syrian Refugees From TX Based On “Speculative Hearsay”


Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s second attempt to block the arrival of additional Syrian refugees was even shorter-lived than the first, reports the Texas Tribune. U.S. District Judge David Godbey yesterday rejected Paxton's renewed request for a temporary restraining order barring nine Syrian refugees set to arrive in the state today. Godbey's ruling came a few hours after Paxton asked for the order, citing security concerns raised by U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Robert Bodisch, deputy director of homeland security at the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Paxton cited evidence “that terrorist organizations have infiltrated the very refugee program that is central to the dispute before this Court.” The judge said the state had not proved that the arrival of the refugees was a “substantial threat of irreparable injury” nor that these nine refugees would commit “acts of terrorism” in Texas. “The Court finds that the evidence before it is largely speculative hearsay,” the judge wrote. “The [state] has failed to show by competent evidence that any terrorists actually have infiltrated the refugee program, much less that these particular refugees are terrorists intent on causing harm.”

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