Since the aftermath of November attack in Paris, France, which claimed 130 lives, Republican-led states have continuously attempted to block the Obama administration’s plans to resettle refugees fleeing the Syrian war.
However, since none of the states could legally keep the migrants out, they opted to work their way around making relocation difficult for them. Case in point: Texas.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday threatened to withdraw his state from the federal funded refugee-resettlement program unless the Office of Refugee Resettlement ensures that not even a single refugee relocated in the state poses terror threats.
“Empathy must be balanced with security,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texas has done more than its fair share in aiding refugees, accepting more refugees than any other state between October 2015 and March 2016. While many refugees pose no danger, some pose grave danger, like the Iraqi refugee with ties to ISIS who was arrested earlier this year after he plotted to set off bombs at two malls in Houston.”
If the federal government does not agree to this demand by the end of the month, Texas will withdraw from the program that aids migrants with settling into their new home.
“Despite multiple requests by the State of Texas, the federal government lacks the capability or the will to distinguish the dangerous from the harmless, and Texas will not be an accomplice to such dereliction of duty to the American people. Therefore, Texas will withdraw from the refugee resettlement program,” he continued. “I strongly urge the federal government to completely overhaul a broken and flawed refugee program that increasingly risks American lives.”
This letter comes on the heels of a series of non-fatal terror attacks in New York and New Jersey.
Earlier this year, Kansas and New Jersey also pulled out of the program due to what Republicans called security concerns. However, Texas has a much bigger resettlement program compared to the two states that only accepted 766 and 453 refugees between October 2015 and August 2016, respectively.
Meanwhile, 6,700 refugees moved into Texas during the same period.