Last fall, Donald Trump gave states the option to refuse resettlement refugees. More than 40 governors from both parties rejected the idea. Texas’ GOP governor is the first to block them. The Washington Post writes:
“In a letter announcing the decision, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) argued that Texas has “carried more than its share in assisting the refugee resettlement process” and said the state’s government and nonprofit agencies have also been strained by “a broken federal immigration system.”
The Post reports Texas took in more refugees than any other state in the last fiscal year.
Refugees organizations have sued the Trump administration. A decision in the lawsuit is expected soon.
“This is a shameful decision by Gov. Abbott which is unworthy of the great state’s reputation for being big, bold and hospitable.” Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, a refugee resettlement group.
Meanwhile, in an editorial, The Dallas Morning News writes Texans should be ashamed.
“It was with some shock and not a little shame that we learned Texas is the first state in the nation to opt out of the federal refugee resettlement program.
“The news came Friday in a letter from Gov. Greg Abbott to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and it stated, in stark language, that Texas is not willing to extend itself “after accepting refugees all these years.”
“This is a departure from an American spirit of helping refugees fleeing war and persecution, whether from Vietnam, Cuba, Africa or beyond.
“This is not a question of seeking to enforce border laws, something this newspaper supports. This is about creating space for people with clear and approved asylum claims, and we are sorry that in his letter Abbott chose to conflate Texas’ border struggles with the decision to reject refugees.
“Recall, of course, that refugees are legal immigrants who have been vetted by the federal government. “