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Texas loses again in US court in bid to block Syrian refugees

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Texas suffered another loss in its attempts to block Syrian refugees from entering the state when a federal judge in Dallas on Thursday dismissed motions filed by the state to halt resettlement of refugees by a private relief agency.

U.S. District Judge David Godbey ruled the U.S. government, not individual states, has the authority to set immigration policy, and found that Texas brought no plausible argument to back its claims that the International Rescue Committee relief agency was unlawful in bringing Syrian refugees into the state.

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Texas has been trying to stop the organization from bringing refugees into the state since December, when it filed its first suit in federal court in response to the group’s plan to resettle six refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war.

Texas has lost a series of court decisions since then to halt the restatement.

After the November attacks by Islamic State militants in Paris, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott was one of the first of more than 30 U.S. state governors, mostly Republicans, seeking to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees into their states, citing security concerns.

“This ruling is a strong rebuke of unconstitutional efforts to block refugee resettlement,” said Cecillia Wang, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Immigrants’ Rights Project and lead counsel for the International Rescue Committee,

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission had argued that the federal government and the relief agency violated their statutory duty under a law called the U.S. Refugee Act to consult with the state in advance of placing refugees in Texas.

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“The Court previously determined that the Refugee Act does not confer a private right of action for the States to enforce its provisions,” Godbey wrote.

The Texas attorney general’s office was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Lisa Maria Garza in Dallas; Editing by Will Dunham)

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CNN’s Jim Acosta walks through all the times Trump has ‘thrown gasoline’ on racial tension

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On CNN Friday, following President Donald Trump's abrupt exit from a press conference following a racially charged tweet, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta broke down President Donald Trump's history of stoking racial tensions during moments of crisis.

"He is trying to clean up this tweet that he posted last night," said Acosta. "First, just what the president said a few moments ago. He said the looters in Minneapolis should not be able to drown out the voice of so many peaceful protesters. That, obviously, is a very mild version of what he was trying to say or he claims he was trying to say last night when he tweeted, "when the looting starts, the shooting starts." That obviously is an expression steeped in all kinds of ugliness. The Miami Police chief back in 1967, when there was unrest in that city, used that expression. George Wallace, the segregationist, used words like that in 1968."

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Joe Biden takes on Trump’s rhetoric during racial justice crises: ‘The words of a president matter’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about the importance of a president's words and accountability during times of crisis during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.

Biden was interviewed by Craig Melvin, who noted the protests tearing apart cities and asked where he would start if elected president.

"I start by talking about what we must be, making no excuses, talking about our obligation to be decent," Biden answered. "Our obligation to take responsibility, our obligation to stand up when we see injustice."

"Look, the words of a president matter -- no matter how good or bad that president is," he explained. "A president can, by their words alone no matter who they are, make it rise or fall, take us to war, bring us to peace. The words of a president matter."

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DeVos and Mnuchin sued for unlawful seizure of student loan borrowers’ tax refunds during pandemic

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"Secretaries DeVos and Mnuchin have inflicted needless financial pain on student borrowers and their families."

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and the federal departments they run were hit with a class-action lawsuit Friday for illegal seizures of thousands of student borrowers' tax refunds during the coronavirus pandemic, which has left over 40 million Americans jobless and familes across the country struggling to stay in their homes and keep food on the table.

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