Posted on January 11, 2021

Trump’s Refugee Community Veto Shot Down in Court

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, January 8, 2021

President Trump’s attempt to give local governments a veto over having refugees resettled in their communities was rejected by a federal appeals court Friday, with the judges upholding a lower court that found the policy likely illegal.

Mr. Trump had signed an executive order in 2019 to create the veto, saying communities that can’t or don’t want to bear a burden from refugees should be allowed to block them.

But the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said immigration law doesn’t envision such a veto power, and the president can’t grant states, cities and counties one on his own.


“This ruling is a rebuke to those who would hold xenophobia as the core tenet of U.S. policy on resettlement, but it also lets the world’s most vulnerable know that our country remains a place of welcome,” said the Rev. John L. McCullough, president of Church World Service, one of the groups that sued.


Nearly every governor and dozens of local communities affirmatively said they would accept refugees, rejecting the need for a veto.

The only governor who said he would flex the veto was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.