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State still resisting refugees

Because of course we are.

The federal government wants Texas to accept more than 2,000 additional refugees this year. Texas’ response: No thank you.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is putting the federal government on notice that the state will refuse to take in more refugees than it did last year and will accept only those who do not pose a security risk.

Texas on Friday submitted to the U.S. Department of State a 2017 state plan for refugee resettlement, rejecting the federal government’s proposal to increase the number of refugees moving to the Lone Star State by 25 percent.

“Texas continues to have concerns about the safety of its citizens and the integrity of the overseas security and background vetting process of the federal resettlement program,” Executive Commissioner Charles Smith wrote in a letter to the U.S. Department of State. “Americans face an undeniable terrorist threat that is imported through new manipulations of our national security protocols each day.”

According to Smith’s letter, the federal government is proposing to place 11,020 refugees in Texas during fiscal 2017, an increase of 25 percent over the projected fiscal 2016 figure. Smith wrote that the proposed funding is insufficient, as well, and concludes the state could accept a maximum of 8,605 refugees. It is unclear how many refugees have been placed this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

[…]

The state could land itself in court should it try to stop refugees from moving to Texas, said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas, which represented the nonprofit International Rescue Committee in the case.

“In the course of this litigation, the Attorney General’s Office has acknowledged the state has no legal authority to block anyone from being settled in Texas. If the state attempts to do so, its actions would be illegal,” she said.

Refugees go through a strict vetting process in order to make their way into the U.S. and Syrians are subject to additional levels of review, according to Jennifer Sime, senior vice president of U.S. program for IRC, the resettlement agency front and center in the lawsuit.

“These are very vulnerable people who are fleeing violence and persecution and they’re coming here to live a safe and peaceful life,” she said. “We want to be able to support them in that process.”

See here for a reminder of the legalities. I’m just going to say this: I never, ever want to hear about how Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick and Ken Paxton are motivated or influenced by their Christian faith again. The “What Would Jesus Do?” question has an answer that is blindingly obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary acquaintance with the Bible, and it’s the exact opposite of what these guys would do and have done. Specifically on the question of Syrian refugees, the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops “[urges] all Catholics in the United States and others of good will to express openness and welcome to these refugees, who are escaping desperate situations in order to survive. Regardless of their religious affiliation or national origin, these refugees are all human persons—made in the image of God, bearing inherent dignity, and deserving our respect and care and protection by law from persecution”. Greg Abbott, our Catholic Governor, does not come close to doing this. This is Christianity 101, and they all get a big fat zero. These guys cite their religious beliefs when it’s politically expedient for them to do so, and ignore them all other times. It’s hypocrisy at its most basic level, and they should all be called on it.

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3 Comments

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Kuff, I agree with you about the hypocrisy by Abbott, et al, but I think the Moral Majority is finally coming around to being pragmatic for a change, the same reason Trump is doing so well.

    Beyond the elephant in the room, radical Muslims embedding themselves with the refugees to gain entrance to the US to unleash terror here, the other issue is cost. We already have more than enough American citizens and illegal parents of anchors being supported by the taxpayers here in Texas. The money we spend taking care of these refugees is less money we have to take care of the indigent already here.

  2. Bill,

    I had to babysit nonprofit executives and city council.

    I’m not going to babysit you.

    Get your facts straight on the policies for processing refugees.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    @Joe,

    Somewhere in Clinton’s term, somebody thought that the Orlando shooter’s father was vetted well enough to bring here, the same term where Bin Ladin tried to take down the Twin Towers the first time. You’ll have to pardon me if my faith in “vetting refugees” is lacking.

    My compassion level drops precipitously when the country plays Russian roulette with the safety of its citizens.