State Department Sued for Withholding Refugee Records

Syrian refugees are helped into Turkey / AP


The State Department is being sued in a district court for allegedly withholding scores of documents and inter-agency communications detailing refugee resettlement efforts since 2014, according to an announcement of the suit on Monday.

Judicial Watch, a legal organization pushing for government transparency, announced the legal action on Monday, stating that the suit is part of a larger investigation into the Obama administration’s Refugee Resettlement Program, which is expected to resettle some 10,000 Syrian refugees in the United States over the next year.

The lawsuit maintains that the Obama administration has stonewalled efforts to obtain inter-agency communications regarding the program, as well as records detailing the number of refugees admitted into the United States between 2013 and 2015.

The suit was filed after the Obama administration failed to respond to at least two separate Freedom of Information Act requests from Judicial Watch seeking these records.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, accused the Obama administration of withholding key information about the resettlement program from the American public.

"The Obama administration doesn’t want Americans to know about how it places refugees from terrorist states in their local communities," Fitton said in a statement. "The fact we had to file a federal lawsuit to obtain basic information about Obama’s dangerous refugee plans should tell Americans (and Congress) that the Obama administration has something to hide about refugees, terrorism, and national security."

The Obama administration is expected to spend about $582 million in taxpayer dollars to resettle refugees in America, according to figures issued by Judicial Watch. This will include $1,000 in spending cash for each refugee once they are settled in the United States.

Critics of the refugee program are concerned that the administration lacks the ability to properly vet potential refugees for ties to terror groups and other criminal organizations.

Recent reports have claimed that some Somali refugees have left the United States in order to fight alongside ISIS. One Somali refugee allegedly was tied to the San Bernardino shooters.

Judicial Watch is seeking to obtain records detailing "federal spending and other details about the refugee program," according to a statement by the group. It also is seeking information about the independent contractors and non-profit organizations the administration is partnering with to carry out this effort.

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is

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