Gov. Abbott announces that the State of Texas will not accept refugees in 2020

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Friday that, as of 2020, Texas will no longer participate in the federal refugee resettlement program.  The reason he gave is that the federal immigration system is "broken" and the state no longer has the resources to deal with the fallout of that breakdown.  Abbott's move makes Texas the first state to withdraw from the refugee resettlement program.

In a letter to secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Governor Abbott explained his reasoning:

On behalf of the State of Texas, I write in response to Executive Order 13888, on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement, as issued by President Trump on September 26, 2019.

Texas is one of the most welcoming states for refugees seeking to escape dangers abroad. Since FY2010, 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 FY2018, 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 h ere, 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.

According to the Austin-American Statesman, Abbott made this announcement despite "pressure to remain in the program from leaders of the state's largest cities, refugee advocates and evangelical Christians.  State Democrats rebuked Abbott over the decision; a few Republicans praised him."

Governor Abbott's decision will see the state lose approximately $17 million in federal money that is intended to support refugee resettlement.  It is unclear how much the state will save when it no longer has to bear the economic costs of refugee resettlement.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on Friday that, as of 2020, Texas will no longer participate in the federal refugee resettlement program.  The reason he gave is that the federal immigration system is "broken" and the state no longer has the resources to deal with the fallout of that breakdown.  Abbott's move makes Texas the first state to withdraw from the refugee resettlement program.

In a letter to secretary of state Mike Pompeo, Governor Abbott explained his reasoning:

On behalf of the State of Texas, I write in response to Executive Order 13888, on Enhancing State and Local Involvement in Refugee Resettlement, as issued by President Trump on September 26, 2019.

Texas is one of the most welcoming states for refugees seeking to escape dangers abroad. Since FY2010, 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 FY2018, 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 h ere, 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.

According to the Austin-American Statesman, Abbott made this announcement despite "pressure to remain in the program from leaders of the state's largest cities, refugee advocates and evangelical Christians.  State Democrats rebuked Abbott over the decision; a few Republicans praised him."

Governor Abbott's decision will see the state lose approximately $17 million in federal money that is intended to support refugee resettlement.  It is unclear how much the state will save when it no longer has to bear the economic costs of refugee resettlement.