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AMERICAN GATEWAYS: Federal Judge Potentially Clears Way for Texas to Continue Admitting Pre-Clear...

Rebecca Lightsey, executive director of Austin-based American Gateways, which provides legal assistance to immigrants in more than 20 Central Texas counties, commented Wednesday on judicial action stopping a national plan that could keep refugees from resettling directly in Texas:

“Judge Peter Messitte’s preliminary injunction rightly upholds federal laws protecting our government’s ability to resettle refugees from abroad as appropriate across the land. Close to home, Messitte also may have cleared the way for Texas to resume leading the nation in admitting refugees who have already been pre-cleared by authorities.

“It’s also true that Messitte’s order only temporarily stops the executive order issued by President Donald Trump to let states control if they accept refugees. The merits will be fought out in court. Still, we’re heartened--and hopeful that the judge’s decision combined with outcries around Texas give pause to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who last week moved to become the nation’s first governor to close his state’s door on refugees in 2020 in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.”

MORE: Contact Rebecca Lightsey, American Gateways, 512-478-0546 ext. 208 or

American Gateways champions the rights of immigrants, refugees and survivors of persecution, torture, conflict and human trafficking through immigration legal services, at low or no cost, as well as education and advocacy.

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