Posted on January 15, 2020

Judge Blocks Trump’s Executive Order Allowing Local Officials to Reject Refugees

Bobby Allyn, NPR, January 15, 2020

A federal judge in Maryland has blocked the Trump administration’s executive order allowing state and local governments to turn away refugees from resettling in their communities.

In September, President Trump announced that groups that help refugees find places to live must first get written consent from local and state jurisdictions before resettling them.

Immigration advocates challenged the executive order in federal court, calling it cruel and shortsighted.

In his ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte wrote that the executive order “does not appear to serve the overall public interest.”


Messitte’s ruling is a preliminary injunction, putting on hold enforcement of Trump’s refugee resettlement order.


Texas recently announced it would become the first state to reject refugees since Trump issued the executive order.

“Texas has been left by Congress to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a letter released last week.

The Trump administration has limited the number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. this fiscal year to 18,000, down from the administration’s previous ceiling of 30,000.

The latest cap marks the lowest number of refugees seeking protection from violence or political persecution that will be allowed into the country since the modern refugee program was established in 1980.