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HIAS v. Trump: Protecting refugees against state and local veto of resettlement

In November 2019, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of three resettlement agencies challenging President Trump’s September 2019 Executive Order giving state and local officials the unprecedented power to refuse refugees being resettled in their jurisdictions (EO #13,888). The order allows states and localities to prevent refugees from being reunited with their U.S. families and could destroy resettlement programs that have been successful for decades in welcoming refugees.

The lawsuit contends that the EO violates the Refugee Act and that its implementation is arbitrary or capricious. We are representing HIAS, Church World Service (CWS), and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS).

In January 2020, the court entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting the Administration from implementing the EO. In January 2021, a U.S. court of appeals unanimously affirmed the preliminary injunction.

On February 4, 2021, President Biden signed Executive Order 14013, which revoked Executive Order 13888, the subject of this lawsuit.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is co-counsel in this litigation.

Follow the Case

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  • Press Release: Appeals Court Affirms Ruling Blocking President Trump from Giving States and Localities Ability to Stop Refugee Resettlement

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  • Press Release: Judge Blocks Executive Order Giving Veto Power to State and Local Officials in Refugee Resettlement

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  • Faith-Based Refugee Humanitarian Groups File Challenge to Trump Administration’s Executive Order Allowing State and Local Officials To Block Refugee Resettlement

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