Texas will not take part in the resettlement of refugees in 2020, according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), who informed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of his decision Friday in a letter.
The letter was written in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13888, which deals with enhancing state involvement in refugee resettlement.
“Since (2010), more refugees have been received in Texas than in any other state,” Gov. Abbott wrote in his letter. “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.”
Abbott cites poor vetting as a reason for this decision.
“In June 2019, individuals from 52 different countries were apprehended here,” the governor added. “And in (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.”
Governor Abbott says that his duty is to protect the people of Texas.
“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 homeless—indeed all Texans,” said Abbott. “As a result, Texas cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement for (2020).”
Gov. Abbott concluded his letter with the following thoughts: “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.”
So far, Texas is the only state to take this position.