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Texas governor says state will not accept new refugees

Texas governor says state will not accept new refugees

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Friday that his state will not accept any new refugees in fiscal year 2020 after President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE signed an executive order allowing governors to opt out of doing so.

Abbott noted in a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo imposes visa restrictions on Chinese officials over 'intimidation' tactics Israel's new Gulf relations give Biden's team a new Middle East hub Pompeo knocks Turkey in NATO speech: report MORE that Texas has accepted more refugees than any other state since fiscal year 2010 on top of grappling with “disproportionate migration issues resulting from a broken federal immigration system.” 

“At this time, the state and nonprofit organizations have a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless — indeed, all Texans,” Abbott wrote.

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“As a result, Texas cannot consent to initial refugee resettlement for FY2020.”

Abbot clarified that the policy does not preclude any 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,” he wrote.

The decision comes after Trump signed an executive order last year requiring refugees first entering the U.S. to resettle only in jurisdictions where state and local governments have agreed to receive them under a State Department program.

Texas is the first state to opt out of accepting new refugees under the policy. Over 30 governors from both parties already said as of last month that they will continue accepting new refugees.

The Trump administration has steadily cut the number of refugees it has admitted into the U.S. overall, proposing capping the number of refugees at 45,000 in 2017, 30,000 in 2018 and 18,000 in 2019.