Texas has taken in more refugees than any other state over the past year, but that could change unless President Barack Obama meets stricter demands being set forth by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas.
"Empathy must be balanced with security," Abbott said in a statement, reports the Houston Chronicle. "Texas has done more than its fair share in aiding refugees, accepting more refugees than any other state between October 2015 and March 2016. While many refugees pose no danger, some pose grave danger, like the Iraqi refugee with ties to ISIS who was arrested earlier this year after he plotted to set off bombs at two malls in Houston."
“The federal government’s refugee settlement program is riddled with serious problems that pose a threat to our nation,” Abbott continued “The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of National Intelligence have repeatedly declared their inability to fully screen refugees from terrorist-based nations. Even with the inability to properly vet refugees from Syria and countries known to be supporters or propagators of terrorism, President Obama is now ineptly proposing a dramatic increase in the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S."
Obama announced on Sep. 20 that the U.S. will accept 110,000 refugees in 2017 from around the world, reported Time. But Abbot said the Office of Refugee Resettlement has not responded to the governor's demand that extra vetting measures be put in place for new refugees, many of whom are expected to come from the Middle East, including war-torn Syria.
“Despite multiple requests by the state of Texas, the federal government lacks the capability or the will to distinguish the dangerous from the harmless, and Texas will not be an accomplice to such dereliction of duty to the American people,” Abbott warned.
Texas isn't alone in its apprehension about incoming refugees. Kansas and New Jersey have already withdrawn from the federal program to accept refugees over security concerns, reported the New York Times.
In June, Texas filed a lawsuit against the federal government so it could ban refugees from Syria. The lawsuit was dismissed by the court.