States’ Rights and Refugee Resettlement
31 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2016 Last revised: 12 Jun 2016
Date Written: April 13, 2016
In the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, in which linkages were made between refugees and terrorists, calls for a suspension or enhancement of the U.S. refugee program rang out from a number of states. Proposed legislation in the congress and state houses have attempted to withdraw support for the President’s commitment to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in 2016. Some states have taken aggressive steps to block the placement of refugees in their communities on the basis of their national origin. What legal authority do states have to question the authority of the Executive in the screening, acceptance, and placement of refugees in their communities? And in the name of security, do states have the ability to prevent refugees on the basis of their origin from residing within their states? This article takes a first attempt at answering these questions.
Keywords: immigration, states rights, refugees, federalism
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