DALLAS: The latest on attempts to resettle Syrian refugees in Texas and Syrian families who crossed the U.S. Mexico border seeking asylum (all times local):
Eight Syrians who turned themselves over to immigration authorities at the U.S.-Mexico border have passed their first hurdle to seeking asylum but remain detained in Texas.
Lawyers representing the two families— two men, two women and four children— say the Syrians have passed their credible fear interviews and have undergone background checks that show they don't pose a danger. However, the attorneys say the families have not been released because of "law enforcement interest."
The Department of Homeland Security did not immediately return a message Monday seeking more details on the immigrants, who turned themselves in last month in Laredo.
Their detention comes at a time of heightened national security concern in the wake of the Paris attacks.
Syrian refugees are scheduled to arrive in Texas soon, after the state eased up in its legal fight to stop them.
Twelve Syrians are to join relatives in Dallas and Houston on Monday. Another nine refugees are scheduled to arrive in Houston on Thursday.
Texas last week sued the federal government and the International Rescue Committee, the agency bringing a family of six refugees to Dallas. But on Friday, the state said it no longer wanted an immediate order stopping refugees but would continue its lawsuit.
The family of six is expected to join relatives already living in North Texas, which is already home to dozens of Syrian refugees.
Governors in about 30 states have said they oppose receiving Syrian refugees after the deadly Nov. 13 attacks in Paris.