Alabama sues US over claims it wasn't consulted about refugee placement

By Robbie Hargett | Jan 12, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Legal Newsline) – A U.S. state is suing the federal government over claims it did not consult with the state about refugee placement.

The state of Alabama, et al., filed a lawsuit Jan. 7 in the Southern Division of the Northern District of Alabama against the United States of America, et al., alleging violations of the Refugee Act of 1980.

According to the suit, the Refugee Act requires that the federal government "shall consult regularly (not less often than quarterly) with state and local governments and private nonprofit voluntary agencies concerning the sponsorship process and the intended distribution of refugees among the states and localities before their placement in those states and localities."

The suit alleges the defendants have failed to provide Alabama with sufficient information about the refugees who have settled or will be settled within its borders, and have denied Alabama a meaningful role in the resettlement process of those refugees.

As a result, Alabama has not been able to adequately prepare for the arrival of refugees and has had the safety of its citizens compromised, the suit alleges.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment and injunction, plus attorney fees. They are represented by attorneys Robert K. Spotswood and Joshua K. Payne of Spotswood Sansom & Sansbury in Birmingham, Alabama, and by Chief Legal Advisor David B. Byrne Jr. in the Office of Governor Robert Bentley in Montgomery, Alabama.

Southern Division of the Northern District of Alabama Case number 2:16-CV-00029-JEO

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Spotswood Sansom & Sansbury, LLC U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

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