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article imageTexas first state to publicly say no to refugee resettlement

By Karen Graham     Jan 11, 2020 in Politics
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.
In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to CNN, Abbott said 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 FY 2020."
This move could lead to major implications for refugees coming into the United States. Texas took in more refugees than any other state during the 2018 governmental fiscal year, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Last year, Texas resettled 2,230 refugees, based on State Department records. And from 2002, Texas has resettled an estimated 88,300 refugees, second only to California, according to the Pew Research Center, according to the Associated Press.
In his letter, Abbott also 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.”
President Donald Trump's executive order on September 26, 2019, slashed the number of people being admitted into the U.S. to no more than 18,000, the lowest number since the US began its refugee program in 1980. This latest cap on asylum seekers is in line with the Trump administration's hard-line immigration goals - bringing to an end the nation's refugee program and its status as a leader in accepting people fleeing persecution around the world.
All states have to make a decision on accepting refugees by January 21, 2020. States must "provide consent, in writing, to the resettlement of refugees within the State and locality, before refugees are resettled within that State and locality under the Program. The Secretary of State shall publicly release any written consents of States and localities to the resettlement of refugees."
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a Democrat, 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."
Annarut Hernandez  10  a refugee from Honduras  looks for clothes with volunteer Guadalupe Gallardo ...
Annarut Hernandez, 10, a refugee from Honduras, looks for clothes with volunteer Guadalupe Gallardo at the church hall of the Basilica of San Albino in Mesilla, New Mexico
Paul Ratje, AFP/File
But it's not just Democrats who are rejecting the executive order. Republican governors of Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska wrote letters to the State Department or publicly announced they would continue accepting refugee resettlements. They are some of the reddest states in the country.
They join the states of West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, North Dakota, Utah, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arizona, Iowa, and Oklahoma in accepting refugees. Vermont's Republican governor said he intends to accept refugees. Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom of California has not publicly consented to accept refugees but plans to do so.
Abbott's letter also comes as a federal judge in Maryland is weighing a lawsuit filed by three refugee resettlement agencies seeking to block the provision in the executive order from going into effect, reports CNN News.
More about Trump, Executive order, Refugees, resettlement, UK politics
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