MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana claimed that actions by Gov. Mike Pence and the secretary of the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration violated the US Constitution and federal law.
"Decisions concerning immigration and refugee resettlement are exclusively the province of the federal government, and attempts to pre-empt that authority violate both equal protection and civil rights laws and intrude on authority that is exclusively federal," ACLU Indiana legal director Ken Falk said.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration, a refugee resettlement agency located in Indianapolis. In the past fiscal year, it helped settle 892 refugees, including some Syrians.
Judy Rabinovitz, deputy legal director of ACLU's immigrants' rights project, said that Indiana authorities had no legal right to "pick and choose" between lawfully admitted refugees or single out Syrians for exclusion.
A family of Syrian refugees was diverted from Indiana last week after Gov. Pence banned Syrian immigrants from entering the state. Similar bans were imposed in North Carolina, Alabama, Michigan, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Massachusetts and Florida, following deadly Paris attacks.