A federal appeals court dealt a major blow to Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Monday, reiterating in an opinion that the Republican vice presidential candidate cannot block aid to Syrian refugee families in the state.
"The governor of Indiana believes, though without evidence, that some of these persons were sent to Syria by ISIS to engage in terrorism and now wish to infiltrate the United States in order to commit terrorist acts here," Judge Richard Posner wrote. "No evidence of this belief has been presented, however; it is a nightmare speculation."
The court essentially dismissed the state's argument that there is a need to protect its residents from Syrian refugees.
Posner said Pence has argued that the policy is not based on nationality and, therefore, isn't discriminatory.
He also rejected the idea that the policy was solely based on the threat Pence believes refugees pose.
"But that's the equivalent of his saying (not that he does say) that he wants to forbid black people to settle in Indiana not because they're black but because he's afraid of them, and since race is therefore not his motive he isn't discriminating," Posner wrote. "But that of course would be racial discrimination, just as his targeting Syrian refugees is discrimination on the basis of nationality."
In his opinion, Posner added that refugees coming from Syria undergo intense screenings by the federal government.
According to USA Today, Pence ordered state agencies to suspend Syrian refugee resettlement last November and blocked funds for resettlement agencies.
That prompted the organization, Exodus Refugee Immigration, to file a lawsuit against him.
This decision comes just as Pence is gearing up to take on Hillary Clinton's vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), in Tuesday's debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virgina.
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