A Maryland judge blocked a presidential decree giving States and local authorities the option of not accepting refugees.The Federal government is appealing a court decision to block a presidential decree that allows state and local authorities to deny refugees resettlement on their territory.

In an appeal filed on Tuesday, the Justice Department asks the fourth circuit court of Appeals to review the decision issued on January 15 by Maryland district judge Peter Messitte.

Messitte, in his 31-page ruling, said that the Executive order signed by President Donald Trump directly contradicts the spirit of the 1980 refugee Law. According to the judge, the process of resettlement of refugees should remain the same as it has been for almost 40 years. The question of where it is best for refugees to settle is decided by special resettlement agencies.

The world service of churches, the Lutheran service for immigration and refugees, and the Jewish non-profit organization HIAS filed a lawsuit in November to block the presidential decree. The judge granted the request and issued a temporary injunction that preserves the status quo for the duration of the lawsuit in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Trump’s Executive order, which was issued in September and was due to take effect in June, requires refugee agencies to obtain consent from state and local authorities before sending refugees to their jurisdiction. The President said that he is acting in the interests of communities that believe they do not have the jobs and other resources necessary to accept refugees.
The agencies called the presidential decree an attempt to impose a ban on refugees from state to state. Messitte supported this view, noting that the decree gives local authorities the right of veto.

The white house last month called the court’s decision “absurd,” noting that bypassing the refugee Law, Congress gave the President authority to resettle them.
“Another lawless district court imposes its immigration policy instead of the laws of the United States and thus deprives millions of American citizens of the opportunity to express their opinion on an important issue that is directly related to the life of their communities,” the statement said.