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First State seeks to help Washington state's federal case against Trump's EO

Megan Pauly
Delaware Public Media
Youth rallied for refugee rights outside the Islamic Society of Delaware on Sunday.

Jewish Family Services met with Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn Wednesday to discuss efforts to help refugees expected to resettle in the First State now affected by Trump’s executive order on immigration and travel.

JFS refugee resettlement volunteer coordinator Sarah Green says Denn and his office are assisting with the lawsuit filed by Washington State, with a temporary restraining order that a federal judge is expected to review Friday.


“And he’s hesitant to pursue anything else, because if that gets issued, then that would cover the entire country," Green said.


Green notes Washington State has something Delaware lacks: an impact statement.


For example, companies like Microsoft, based in the state of Washington, are able to demonstrate the executive order’s impact on the local economy.


“In Delaware, we just don’t have that," Green said. "This is something that we haven’t had to deal with before.”


Denn’s office - in a statement Wednesday - says it is launching an effort to collect the relevant data and facts for a local impact statement that could help build a case for both First State refugees and others across the country.  Former Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Veasey is among the private attorneys helping to pursue that impact information at no charge to the state.

Meanwhile, the exact location of the Syrian family originally expected to arrive in Delaware in a week is uncertain.


Green says the family is not in a refugee camp – as other media outlets have reported – but its specific whereabouts in Bangkok, Thailand are unknown to Jewish Family Services or HIAS, the federal resettlement agency working with JFS. Green says the family could be homeless.

It’s also unclear if the family is even aware the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, has canceled their travel plans.


Delaware Public Media has contacted IOM asking for more information, but has gotten no response.


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