- Associated Press - Monday, February 29, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The latest on a federal judge blocking Gov. Mike Pence’s order barring state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana (all times local):

5:15 p.m.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence says he will quickly challenge a federal judge’s order that blocks his directive barring state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana.

Pence’s office released a statement shortly after the judge ruled against him Monday, saying the governor will ask Indiana’s attorney general “to seek an immediate stay and appeal of this order.”

In her ruling, U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt called Pence’s directive discriminatory. She also rejected the governor’s arguments that his order would enhance the state’s security.

Pence said in his statement that “during these uncertain times, we must always err on the side of caution” when it comes to security. He says he “stands by” his original decision.

___

4:30 p.m.

A federal judge in Indianapolis has blocked Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s order barring state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in Indiana.

Monday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt comes in response to a request for a preliminary injunction from the group Exodus Refugee Immigration, which helps resettle refugees.

Pratt wrote in her 36-page opinion that the governor’s directive “clearly discriminates against Syrian refugees based on their national origin.”

More than two dozen states, most with Republican governors, have taken similar action to suspend Syrian resettlement programs.

Pence had cited concerns following the deadly Paris terrorist attacks when issuing the order in November. He’s noted a passport found near one of the suicide bombers had been registered along the route asylum seekers from Syria are taking through Europe.


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