Texas Governor Greg Abbot Says State Will Not Accept Syrian Refugees
In a letter to President Barack Obama issued Monday morning, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the state will not accept any refugees from Syria in the wake of deadly terror attacks in Paris, France Friday evening.
In the letter, Abbot cited testimony from FBI Director James B. Comey stating that the federal government does not have the background information necessary to conduct effective security checks on Syrians seeking asylum. Governor Abbott also referenced three cases of terrorist activity in Texas over the past several months, including an attempted mass shooting at an anti-Islamic art contest in Garland back in May – an attack for which ISIS claimed credit.
“Given the tragic attack in Paris and the threats we have already seen in Texas,” Gov. Abbot wrote, “coupled with the FBI director's acknowledgment that we do not have the information necessary to effectively vet Syrian nationals, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees - any one of whom could be connected to terrorism - being resettled in Texas.”
Gov. Abbot went on to write that he has directed the Texas Health & Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program not to participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the state. He then urged President Obama to halt his plans to allow Syrian refugees asylum in any state, saying neither he nor any federal official can guarantee that any refugee will not participate in terrorist activity.
“As such,” he wrote, “opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril.”
You can read Governor Abbott's letter to the President here.