Texas has filed a lawsuit aiming to block Syrian refugees from settling in the Dallas area, in the latest salvo of an escalating row between the state, an aid group and the federal government.
Relatives of Faez and Shaza, who fled Syria for Jordan in 2013 and were settled this year in a Dallas suburb, are expected to arrive as early as Friday.
They are being helped by the Dallas branch of the New York-based International Rescue Committee (IRC), but Texas officials sent letters to IRC asking them to halt their assistance to the refugees. The humanitarian group issued a statement on Wednesday refusing to comply with instructions from Greg Abbott, Texas’s Republican governor, and Chris Traylor, the head of the state’s health agency.
In response, Texas’s health and human services commission filed a federal lawsuit against the IRC and the Obama administration this week that asks the court to stop the family from arriving in Texas in the next few days.
It accuses the defendants of potentially endangering public safety by failing to cooperate closely and share sufficient information about the background of the refugees.