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CA4 Crushes Trump's Refugee EO: HIAS v. Trump

January 11, 2021 (1 min read)

HIAS v. Trump

"In 2019, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13,888 (the Order), which drastically alters the system by which the federal government resettles refugees across the United States. Rather than consulting with states and localities regarding their ability to accept refugees, the Order creates an “opt-in” system requiring that both a state and a locality provide their affirmative consent before refugees will be resettled there. Order § 2. In the funding notice (the Notice) implementing the Order, the Department of State imposed on private resettlement agencies, who provide social services for newly arrived refugees, the burden of seeking the consent of every state and locality where a refugee might be resettled. Three of these resettlement agencies have filed suit challenging the Order and Notice, asserting that they violate the Refugee Act, 8 U.S.C. § 1522 (the Refugee Act, or the Act), principles of federalism, and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2). The district court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Order and Notice, and the government filed this interlocutory appeal. Upon our review, we conclude that the plaintiffs have demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on their claim that the Order and Notice violate the carefully crafted scheme for resettling refugees that Congress established in the Refugee Act. We also conclude that the record supports the district court’s award of preliminary injunctive relief under the remaining factors of Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, 555 U.S. 7 (2008) (the Winter factors). Accordingly, we hold that the district court did not abuse its discretion in granting the preliminary injunction, and we affirm the district court’s judgment."