Indiana officials appealing judge’s Syrian refugee decision

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The Indiana attorney general’s office is asking a federal judge to put on hold her order against Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s efforts to bar state agencies from helping Syrian refugees resettle in the state.

The motion filed Tuesday argues the state should be allowed to withhold funding to refugee assistance group Exodus Refugee Immigration while it appeals U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt’s ruling to a federal appeals court.

Pratt’s decision last week called Pence’s directive discriminatory. She also rejected the governor’s arguments that his order would enhance the state’s security.

The attorney general’s office argues the state has legitimate public safety concerns about refugee screening.

The American Civil Liberties Union is representing the refugee group. ACLU attorney Cecillia Wang says she confident Pratt’s ruling will be upheld.