A federal judge has denied the state’s motion for a stay on a preliminary injunction granted last month in a lawsuit challenging Gov. Mike Pence’s suspension of funds to groups that resettle Syrian refugees in Indiana.
Pence’s directive came last year following the terrorist attacks in Paris in November. The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana sued on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc., seeking a preliminary injunction to temporarily suspend Pence’s move. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted the motion Feb. 29.
The state is appealing to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and asked Pratt on March 8 to temporarily stay the injunction while the appeal is pending.
“The Court held in the Preliminary Injunction Order that the irreparable harm, balance of harms, and public interest factors all favor granting Exodus a preliminary injunction. The State has not convinced the Court that these factors weigh differently for the purposes of the instant motion, and thus these factors also favor denying the State’s request for a stay pending appeal,” Pratt wrote in Tuesday’s order.
The state maintains it has legitimate public safety concerns in seeking a temporary and partial suspension of grant payments to Exodus. It also says the federal government has not provided Indiana with sufficient information about the vetting process used to screen war refugees from Syria before Exodus relocated them to Indiana.