syrian refugees

Courtesy Governor Mike Pence

The head of Exodus Refugee Immigration says Syrian refugees in Indiana are relieved and feeling positive after a federal court blocked Governor Mike Pence’s efforts to keep them out of the state.

Governor Pence, citing security concerns about Syrian refugees, sought to cut off federal funding to organizations like Exodus Refugee Immigration that resettle refugees in Indiana. A federal Appeals Court this week upheld a lower court ruling to block Pence from denying those funds.

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled against Governor Mike Pence in a lawsuit seeking to block federal funds for resettling Syrian refugees in Indiana.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued the state on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration last November, after Pence announced the suspension of accepting Syrian refugees to the state.

Courtesy Governor Mike Pence

A panel of federal judges heard arguments Wednesday on a case challenging Governor Mike Pence’s attempt to withhold funds from programs helping Syrian refugees relocate to Indiana.

American Civil Liberties Union lawyers say they’re confident the law won’t stand up to scrutiny.

Last November Governor Pence suspended state funding to organizations such as Exodus Refugee Immigration, in a move he said was to protect Hoosiers from foreign-born terrorists.

Joe Gratz /

A federal judge will not temporarily halt her ruling, and the state will have to provide funding to refugee resettlement organizations while the legal battle over money for resettlement continues.

Indiana’s refugee resettlement program funnels federal money to organizations that help resettle refugees in the state.  Gov. Mike Pence in December announced he was suspending that program for Syrian refugees, cutting off money from resettlement groups such as Exodus Immigration.  Pence says public safety concerns prompted that action. 

Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Attorney General's office has filed the expected appeal of the ruling that blocks Governor Mike Pence's plan to deny assistance to Syrian refugees settling in Indiana.

The state questions the federal screening process for those entering the country from overseas.

Federal Judge Tanya Walton Pratt found Pence's position discriminatory and threw it out.

It's up to Judge Pratt to decide whether to grant a request to set aside her order until the appeal is resolved.

Steve Burns / WFIU

Exodus Refugee Immigration is expecting to resettle several Syrian refugee families in Indiana over the next few months, despite Gov. Pence’s continued opposition.

A judge ruled Monday in a civil lawsuit against Gov. Mike Pence, saying that Pence cannot deny state funds to Syrian refugees. The ACLU of Indiana is suing Pence on behalf of Exodus.

Joe Gratz /

A federal judge Monday said Indiana can’t block Syrian refugees from coming to the state, ruling the state’s actions are discriminatory.

Last December, Governor Mike Pence announced he was suspending Indiana’s Syrian refugee resettlement program.  That action blocks federal funds from groups such as Exodus Refugee Immigration that assist those refugees. 

Pence says the Obama administration has failed to address gaps in refugee screening and cited Hoosiers’ public safety in his decision to suspend the program. 

Sarah Fentem / WBAA

In federal court Friday, Indiana officials defended the state’s right to withhold money from groups helping resettle Syrian refugees.

One of those resettlement groups is suing the state over the policy Governor Mike Pence put into effect in December. 

Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fischer says that’s because FBI officials testified before Congress, and said the federal government doesn’t have access to sufficient information for background checks of those refugees.

Sarah Stierch /

Indianapolis Republican Senator Mike Delph says he felt morally compelled to share the stories of proud, law-abiding Muslim-Americans in the wake of terror attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.  During a press conference Tuesday, members of Indiana’s Islamic community decried the attacks perpetrated by what they say are not Muslims, but criminals and terrorists.

Intiaz Rahim /

Indiana faith leaders will meet Friday with Syrian refugee families in Indianapolis.

Leaders from the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths will gather with Syrian refugee families Friday night to send the message that they’re welcome in the Hoosier State.

The Syrian American Council organized the gathering.

Council spokesperson Omar Hossino says Governor Mike Pence was invited to attend Friday night’s meeting but has declined because of a scheduling conflict. However, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller will attend the meeting.