- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama’s new governor has dropped an appeal after the state lost a court case against the federal government over refugee resettlement, saying the state is satisfied with President Donald Trump’s actions on refugee entry.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May dismissed the appeal at the request of Gov. Kay Ivey. The governor’s general counsel said the state is satisfied with Trump’s assurances that states will be granted a role in refugee placement.

“Governor Ivey welcomes the Trump administration’s change in policy to involve the states in the refugee resettlement process,” General Counsel Bryan Taylor said in a Tuesday statement. “Those concerns have now been addressed, and the litigation is ended.

Part of Trump’s temporary travel ban issued in March articulated the policy change, saying that under his administration, states should be granted a role in the placement of refugees to “the extent permitted by law and as practicable.” However, a federal judge placed sections of the order on hold.

Then-Gov. Robert Bentley last year sued the federal government, arguing officials were violating the Refugee Act of 1980 by not consulting with states on refugee placement. Bentley asked a federal judge to block refugees from coming to the state unless federal officials provided a full background check and medical information on each one. Alabama’s lawsuit, similar to one filed in Texas, was unsuccessful and was tossed out by the court. A federal judge wrote that nothing in the Refugee Act required federal officials to give Alabama that information.

The state had asked the 11th Circuit to vacate the lower court’s ruling that Alabama could not sue under the Refugee Act. “Under these circumstances, it is appropriate to leave open the question whether States may sue to enforce the Refugee Act,” lawyers for Alabama wrote. The 11th Circuit judges denied the request.

Ivey became governor after Bentley resigned amid an impeachment push and ethics investigation in the fallout from an alleged affair with a former staffer.

Alabama takes in few refugees compared to other states. Alabama took in about 55 of the 42,000 refugees that entered the United States between Oct.1, 2016, through April 30, 2017, according to statistics from the Refugee Processing Center at the U.S. State Department.


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