Texas Wants to Abandon Refugee Resettlement Program

Sep 26, 2016

Credit Marjorie Kamys Cotera

Texas is threatening to withdraw from the nation's refugee resettlement program, reports The Texas Tribune.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott  said the state would leave the program if the federal government doesn’t “unconditionally approve” its demands for more vetting of incoming refugees. Abbott insisted the Lone Star State will only accept refugees who “are fully vetted and do not present a security threat.” 

Abbott said “the federal government lacks the capability or the will to distinguish the dangerous from the harmless.” Federal officials responded that refugees are only settled in the United States after a stringent two-year security screening process. Last November, Gov. Abbott directed nonprofits in Texas to stop accepting Syrian refugees. The feds said Texas didn't have the authority to make such an order. Texas then sued the federal government to be allowed to reject Syrian refugees. The case was dismissed, and an appeal is working its way through the courts.