LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - Texas has become the first state to reject the resettlement of new refugees under a recent rule by the Trump Administration.
On Friday Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state will no longer accept new refugees this year. In his announcement to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he says Texas has done its fair share in resettling refugees.
This decision has now sparked outrage across the state, and even here at home.
Governor Abbott’s decision comes after the president announced that resettlement agencies must get written approval from state and local officials in any jurisdiction where they want to resettle refugees beyond June.
In a letter by Abbott, he says that Texas has been left by congress to deal with inconsistent migration issues that result from a broken federal immigration system.
Back here at home, we reached out to a community advocate who says although she is for border security, she is shocked by the governor's decision.
"Mr. Trump signed an executive order in September saying that states could do this, let's get written consent before refugees could come in,” said Sister Rosemary Welsh. “But I think 41 states said that they wouldn't do this, and I cannot believe that we're generous, big states plus we have a lot of needs in our country and state, even like people that come in economically. No I'm against, of course I'm against it."
Sister Rosemary adds that she would like to see the federal government come up with a comprehensive immigration plan that recognizes the humanitarian needs for people seeking refuge.
Abbott has tried to stop refugees before. Back in 2015 the governor declared that Texas would not welcome people from Syria following the deadly Paris attacks.
He says in his letter that Texas has received more refugees than any other state in the nation.
Organizations such as the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, which includes local Bishop James Tamayo, have slammed Abbott’s decision.
In a statement to the Texas governor, they write that the decision to turn away refugees is deeply discouraging and disheartening.
They add while they respect Abbott’s decision, it is misguided and denies people who are fleeing persecution from being able to bring their gifts and talents to the state.