Federal Court to Indiana: Refugee 'Consultation' Is Just for Show

By Dan Cadman, October 10, 2016

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued a sharply worded rejection of an executive order on refugee resettlement issued by Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. Pence is the Republican vice presidential candidate and running mate of Donald Trump.

The executive order from Pence directed state agencies to refuse to cooperate with federal agencies and nongovernmental relief organizations in the resettlement of Syrian refugees within the state. The circuit court's rejection and rebuke was based on the fact that Pence's order was nationality specific and, according to the Daily Caller, came close to labeling the executive order as racist.

I don't profess to be expert in this area of immigration law, but I do know that the statutes require state and local governments to be consulted before resettling refugees in their jurisdictions (see 8 U.S.C. Section 1522(a)(2)). It seems logical that, if the consultation is to be meaningful in any way, and not just a facade, the process would include the right of each state to reject resettlement proposals destined for their respective areas.

Meanwhile, in other news, German police announced with great relief the end of a two-day nationwide manhunt after they captured a fugitive who had planned a horrific bombing at a German airport equivalent to those experienced not so long ago in Brussels and Istanbul.

The fugitive was Jaber Al-Bakr (alternately spelled "Albakr"), a Syrian "refugee" who arrived in Germany a few months ago as part of the migrant wave emanating out of Turkey and North Africa, and who had applied for asylum.

Al-Bakr fled after police raided his apartment and found massive amounts of explosives that were to be used in the airport attack. His roommate, a fellow "countryman" from Syria (and presumably another refugee/asylee applicant) is also being held for the plot.

Al-Bakr hid from authorities at the apartment of two other recent Syrian arrivals, who later — perhaps feeling the heat and fearing the backlash to themselves personally — tipped off the police, resulting in his capture.

Wow. How could Pence have got things so wrong in presuming that permitting the resettlement of Syrian "refugees" constitutes a clear and present danger to the people of Indiana whom he is sworn to protect? Thank heavens for those stalwarts in the federal judiciary.

Perhaps Pence's mistake was in limiting the executive order to Syrians. After all, the United States also intends to bring in substantial numbers of Iraqis and Afghans this year under the auspices of the refugee program, according to recent testimony by senior federal officials. They, too, constitute high-risk populations given the limited vetting capabilities of our government in these volatile, war-torn, jihadist-infected, near-failed states.

The irony, of course, is that if Pence had tried to avoid the nearly inevitable smear by simply saying "no" to all refugee resettlement in his state, then an activist court would almost certainly still have lambasted the executive order — for being too broad and lumping too many nationalities into the same basket.

Such is the state of judicial activism, Tenth Amendment be damned. After all, the Constitution is only to be invoked when convenient to progressive causes.