Despite record illegal immigration continuing to hamper and constrain many states across the nation, Republican governors have continued to ask the federal government to continue or enhance refugee resettlement in their states.
Earlier this year, Conservative Review noted that thus far 18 of 27 GOP governors had requested to participate in the federal government’s refugee resettlement program to the consternation of many conservative activists and citizens.
At the time, Texas stood on the sidelines. But now, The Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer reports that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will instead oppose refugee resettlement in the Lone Star State.
According to a letter sent today to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that was just obtained by The Daily Wire, Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced Texas’s refusal to accept any additional refugees for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The letter was prompted by Executive Order 13888, on “Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement,” which was issued by President Donald Trump on September 26, 2019.
Abbott’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reads thusly:
Texas is one of the most welcoming states for refugees seeking to escape dangers abroad. 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. 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. 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.