ACLU-NJ Seeks Details of Syrian Refugee Policy

November 24, 2015

NEWARK -- The ACLU of New Jersey is asking the state Department of Human Services and state Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness to make public the “directive” issued by Gov. Chris Christie that bars state agencies from assisting in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in New Jersey.

In a request made through the Open Public Record Act (OPRA), the ACLU-NJ seeks further detail about the plan envisioned by the governor, including documentation of his directive and documents showing how the agencies are implementing the directive.  

Christie first mentioned the directive in a Nov. 17 letter to President Obama in which he declared the state will not accept any refuges from Syria.

“Effective today, I am directing the New Jersey Department of Human Services not to participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of New Jersey,” Christie wrote, “and am requesting that all nongovernmental organizations assisting with the resettlement of refugees in New Jersey notify the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness and Department of Human Services of their placement of any refugees from Syria.”

So far, 75 refugees from Syria have been resettled in New Jersey, according to social service agencies. The Obama Administration is considering allowing thousands more resettle in the U.S.

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