Texas Governor Greg Abbott has closed the doors to new refugees in the state of Texas, making him the first governor to refuse new refugees under an executive order signed by President Trump empowering state and local governments with control over refugee resettlement within their jurisdictions.
While other Republican governors have come under fire for allowing refugee resettlement to continue within their states -- at least 18 Republican governors have given their consent -- in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott writes that Texas has already taken in more than its fair share of refugees while also contending with the "disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system."
(Via The Daily Wire)
“Texas is one of the most welcoming states for refugees seeking to escape dangers abroad,” Abbott begins. “Since FY 2010, more refugees have been received in Texas than in any other state. In fact, over that decade, roughly 10% of all refugees resettled in the United States have been placed in Texas. Even today, the process of resettling continues for many of these refugees.”
“In addition to accepting refugees all these years, Texas has been left by Congress to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system,” the governor continues. “In May 2019, for example, around 100,000 migrants were apprehended crossing this state’s southern border. In June 2019, individuals from 52 different countries were apprehended here. And in FY 2018, the apprehensions included citizens from disparate countries like China, Iran, Kenya, Russia, and Tonga. Texas continues to have to deal with the consequences of an immigration system that Congress has failed to fix.”
“At this time, the state and non-profit organizations have a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless — indeed, all Texans,” the Republican writes in his denouement. “As a result, Texas cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement for FY2020. This decision does not deny any refugee access to the United States. Nor does it preclude a refugee from later coming to Texas after initially settling in another state.”
“Texas has carried more than its share in assisting the refugee resettlement process and appreciates that other states are available to help with these efforts,” Abbott concludes.
In addition to granting state and local jurisdictions control over refugees resettled in their communities, President Trump has cut the annual number of refugees allowed to resettle in the U.S. by more than 80 percent since President Obama's final year in office. In fiscal year 2020, President Trump capped the number of refugees at 18,000, down from the 30,000 limit set in fiscal year 2019.