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Texas Admits 12 Syrian Refugees Into State

Twelve Syrian refugees are slated to arrive in Texas on Dec. 7 after the state withdrew a temporary court order that would have postponed resettlement.

The 12 refugees, including 6 children, will be arriving on Dec. 7 in Dallas and Houston, and will eventually join their relatives who already live in Texas, The Associated Press and the Atlantic reported. Another nine refugees will be arriving in Houston on Dec. 10.

Since the Paris attacks on Nov. 13, more than 30 U.S. governors have expressed wishes to end the resettlement of Syrian refugees in their states. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has been particularly resistant; even after rescinding the order to stop the resettling of refugees in the state, he is still moving ahead with a different lawsuit against the federal government and a resettlement agency.

That lawsuit is based on Texas' argument that the federal government must consult with governors and mayors before resettling refugees into their jurisdictions in accordance with the Refugee Act of 1980, the Atlantic reports. The case is set to be argued before a judge soon.

The Paris attacks have raised fears of possible terrorist associations among the refugees from some quarters, particularly because at least one of the attackers was carrying a Syrian passport. The Atlantic reports that this passport proved fake, but it highlights the problem of a burgeoning trade in fake passports due to the likelihood that Syrians fleeing conflict will be given refugee status in Europe.

The U.S. has stricter controls for incoming refugees, with the process for referral and asylum taking between 18 and 24 months. As of early December 2015, the U.S. has taken in about 2,000 refugees from Syria and 238 have settled in Texas, according to the Atlantic. An additional 10,000 refugees may arrive in the U.S. next year.

Sources: AP via Fox 4 News, The Atlantic / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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