Gov. Mike Pence

Gov. Mike Pence

The American Civil Liberties Union has launched a lawsuit against Gov. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, accusing the chief executive of violating the Constitution by blocking Syrian refugees from his state.

“This lawsuit is calling out Governor Pence on his unconstitutional bluff,” said Judy Rabinovitz, deputy legal director of the ACLU’s immigrants’ rights project, in a press release. “He does not have the power to pick and choose between which lawfully admitted refugees he is willing to accept. Singling out Syrian refugees for exclusion from Indiana is not only ethically wrong, it is unconstitutional. Period.”

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Pence announced on Nov. 16 a halt to all Syrian refugees to Indiana, saying in a statement he was concerned about Hoosiers’ safety.

“In the wake of the horrific attacks in Paris, effective immediately, I am directing all state agencies to suspend the resettlement of additional Syrian refugees in the state of Indiana pending assurances from the federal government that proper security measures have been achieved.”

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Pence is among 25 governors who’ve blocked refugees from Syria from entering their states – a decision slammed by President Obama on Twitter as counter to American values.

“That’s not who we are,” Obama tweeted. “And it’s not what we’re going to do.”

The ACLU filed suit in federal court on behalf of Exodus Refugee Immigration, Inc., a nonprofit that was trying to help resettle Syrians in Indiana, the Washington Post reported.

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