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Gov. Pence pledges to appeal refugee ruling

Posted at 10:45 PM, Mar 01, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS -- Governor Mike Pence says he will move forward with plans to appeal a judge's ruling blocking his efforts to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in Indiana.

U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt announced the ruling yesterday, calling Pence's directive to stop federal funds for Syrian refugees "utterly ineffective" and "unconstitutional discrimination."

MORE | Judge: Gov. Pence can't stop refugee resettlement

Cole Varga, executive director of Exodus Refugee Immigration, said the organization was relieved by the ruling.

"We've been sitting in limbo for a while over this case, not knowing if we were going to be fully funded for the year to help with our programs to help refugees," Varga said.

Varga said Pence's decision to try to block the funds was "misguided."

"It's become a political issue and it didn't need to be," she said. "It's a humanitarian issue, one really rooted in the history of this country, welcoming those in need, so I was very upset when Gov. Pence and many other governors made the misguided choice to turn this into a political and fear issue."

Pence has asked Attorney General Greg Zoeller to request a stay in the decision pending an appeal.

Meanwhile, Exodus plans to help 900 refugees from all around the world settle in Indianapolis this year.

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