Texas Governor Greg Abbott Accepts Trump Offer And Becomes First State To REFUSE New Refugees

Texas Governor Greg Abbott Accepts Trump Offer And Becomes First State To REFUSE New Refugees


Texas must be very proud of their Governor Greg Abbott.

He has consistently made bold decisions that he feels are in the best interest of the people of Texas.

And he just did it again.

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After a President Trump Executive Order gave States the option to opt out of accepting more refugees, Gov. Abbott has seized upon that option and opted out.

Take a look:

Here's more, from the BBC:

The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, has said the state will not accept new refugees under the US government's resettlement programme.

The decision means Texas will become the first state known to do so.

Last year US President Donald Trump signed an executive order allowing states to opt out of the programme.

On Friday, Mr Abbott said Texas had done "more than its share in assisting the refugee resettlement process".

Refugee agencies have criticised the move, with one calling it "deeply disappointing". 

Texas has large refugee populations in several of its major cities. In the 2018 fiscal year, Texas took in 1,697 refugees - more than any other state, but a large drop from 4,768 in the previous fiscal year. 

Justifying his decision in a letter to the US State Department, Mr Abbott argued that the state should be focused on "those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless - indeed, all Texans".

On that basis, Mr Abbott said he "cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement" in 2020, but added that the decision "does not deny any refugee access" to the US.

Refugees who are already settled in other states, Mr Abbott said, will be allowed to move to Texas if they choose. However, resettlement agencies say they would not have access to federal resettlement benefits, such as housing.

In September last year, President Trump announced that states must actively consent to any resettlement of refugees after June 2020. 

So far, the governors of more than 40 other states have said they will opt in to the government programme.

Mr Trump has made reducing immigration a key aim of his administration.

The president has slashed the number of refugees allowed into the country for the 2020 fiscal year to 18,000 - a record low.

About 30,000 refugees were resettled in the US during the previous fiscal year.

The previous lowest admissions figure was in 2002, after the 9/11 attacks, when about 27,000 refugees were allowed into the US.

ABC News confirmed the story:

Texas will no longer accept the resettlement of new refugees, becoming the first state known to do so under a recent Trump administration order, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday.

Abbott's announcement could have major implications for refugees coming to the United States. Texas has large refugee populations in several of its cities and has long been a leader in settling refugees, taking in more than any other state during the 2018 governmental fiscal year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Since the 2002 fiscal year, Texas has resettled an estimated 88,300 refugees, second only to California, according to the Pew Research Center. 

In a letter released Friday, Abbott wrote that Texas “has been left by Congress to deal with disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system.” He added that Texas has done "more than its share.”

Abbott argued that the state and its non-profit organizations should instead focus on “those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless — indeed, all Texans.”

It wasn't clear how Abbott's letter might affect any currently pending refugee cases.

Refugee groups sharply criticized the Republican governor. Ali Al Sudani, chief programs officer of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, predicted that some refugees with longstanding plans to come to Texas would have flights rescheduled or delayed. Al Sudani settled in Houston from Iraq in 2009 and now works to resettle other refugees. 

“You can imagine the message that this decision will send to them and to their families,” Al Sudani said. “It’s very disappointing and very sad news, and honestly, this is not the Texas that I know."

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he had met refugees in Dallas who had previously served as interpreters or aides for U.S. soldiers. 

“You have people who are fleeing violence, people who are assisting us in the war on terror, who are having the door slammed in their faces,” said Jenkins, a Democrat who is the county's chief administrative official.

President Donald Trump announced in September that resettlement agencies must get written consent from state and local officials in any jurisdiction where they want to help resettle refugees beyond June 2020. Trump has already slashed the number of refugees allowed into the country for the 2020 fiscal year to a historic low of 18,000. About 30,000 refugees were resettled in the U.S. during the previous fiscal year.

Governors in 42 other states have said they will consent to allowing in more refugees, according to the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, which works with local agencies throughout the U.S. to resettle refugees. The governors who haven't chimed in are all Republicans and are from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Wyoming. 

Fierce debates have occurred in several parts of the country, including North Dakota and Tennessee, over whether to opt into refugee resettlement under the executive order. Many Republican governors have been caught between immigration hardliners and some Christian evangelicals who believe helping refugees is a moral obligation.

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