Indiana Syrian Refugees Relieved After Federal Court Decision

Oct 4, 2016

Federal court blocked Governor Mike Pence’s efforts to keep Syrian refugees out of the state.
Credit Courtesy Governor Mike Pence

The head of Exodus Refugee Immigration says Syrian refugees in Indiana are relieved and feeling positive after a federal court blocked Governor Mike Pence’s efforts to keep them out of the state.

Governor Pence, citing security concerns about Syrian refugees, sought to cut off federal funding to organizations like Exodus Refugee Immigration that resettle refugees in Indiana. A federal Appeals Court this week upheld a lower court ruling to block Pence from denying those funds.

Exodus Executive Director Cole Varga says the Syrian refugees who have been resettled in the state – more than 100 since Pence’s directive in November – are relieved by the latest legal victory

“Despite having faced persecution at home and having to flee for their lives and arriving in Indiana and facing a governor who doesn’t want them there, they’re actually staying quite positive,” Varga says.

Varga says more Syrian refugees are on their way to Indiana in the coming months. The state has not indicated whether it will appeal the ruling.

The Democratic and Libertarian candidates for governor Monday expressed their opposition to Pence’s policy – and even GOP candidate Eric Holcomb seemed to indicate he wouldn’t continue efforts to block Syrian refugees were he elected.