DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday said that Texas will not accept any more refugees for initial resettlement this year.
Abbott said Texas bears a “disproportionate” burden from illegal immigration and must concentrate the resources it and its nonprofits have on the needy already here – “refugees, migrants and the homeless – indeed, all Texans.”
Under a new Trump administration requirement, state and local elected officials must consent in writing before refugees can be resettled. By saying Texas won’t participate, Abbott effectively overrode recent letters by leaders of Dallas and other major Texas cities opting in.
He also made Texas the first state to decline resettlement under President Donald Trump’s executive order creating state and local vetoes.
In his letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott stressed his action does not “preclude a refugee from later coming to Texas after initially settling in another state.”
Editor’s Note: Click here to read the full story by reporters Robert T. Garrett and Dianne Solis in the Dallas Morning News.
Texas Democratic Party response
Texas Democratic Party Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement about Gov. Abbott’s announcement on resettling refugees:
“Texas means friends. We are the friendship state. We help our neighbors. That’s what we do. Refugees are our neighbors. After suffering violence, war, and persecution, they filled out the necessary paperwork and we’re deemed eligible to move in.
“Refugees are not political pawns and bargaining chips to advance anti-immigrant policies. We cannot let Republican racism overpower our love and compassion for our brothers and sisters fleeing violence across the world. Republican Governor Greg Abbott is in complete opposition to our Texas values by refusing to let refugees into our great state. Governor Abbott’s decision will lead to more innocent people dying.
“We should be welcoming refugees to Texas, instead of ending a program that saves lives.”
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above News Clip shows demonstrators protesting Gov. Greg Abbott’s opposition to resettle Syrian refugees in Texas, at the governor’s mansion in 2015. (Photo: Pu Ying Huang for KUT)