Texas Will Withdraw from Refugee Resettlment Program if Security Plan Is Not Accepted
— Onlinemagazin (@OnlineMagazin) September 22, 2016
Texas Governor Greg Abbott and State Refugee Coordinator Kara Crawford have given official notice of their intent to withdraw from a federal refugee resettlement program if their proposed security measures are not approved by the end of September.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Abbott said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement must unconditionally accept Texas' amended State Plan, which would require national security officials to vet refugees in order to ensure they do not pose a threat to Texas.
According to Abbott's statement, if the ORR does not accept the state's application for new security measures,Texas' withdrawal from the resettlement program will go into effect on January 21, 2017 - 120 days after a September 30, 2016 deadline.
“Empathy must be balanced with security," Abbott wrote. "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."
In a letter to the DHHS, Crawford said the agency's silence on the matter will be interpreted as a rejection of Texas' application.