Strong Reaction To Gov Abbott's Decision To 'Opt Out' Of Refugee Program

Barbara Schwarz
January 14, 2020 - 6:19 am
 Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Drew Anthony Smith / Stringer

AUSTIN (1080 KRLD) - On Friday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott became the first governor in the nation to opt out of the refugee resettlement program.  At least 41 governors have opted in. 

The chairman of the Republican Party of Texas says Governor Abbott did the right thing. James Dickey says they're thankful that Abbott stuck with the state's Republican party platform, plank 284, which asks they get rid of the program entirely.

"His choice to defend Texas and Texans and our priorities by opting out of the program and the president's work to make it possible for him to do so support our platform and we appreciate them doing that."

He says since fiscal year 2010, ten percent of refugees entering the United States have resettled in Texas.  "Congress has left us to deal with their failure of dealing with immigration policy and strategy overall, for decades and hopefully this will bring that to a head."

Abhi Rahman, spokesman with the Texas Democratic Party calls that a cop out.  "Using these people's lives as political bargaining chips to stop letting in this refugees into this country is to basically sentence them to death."

Dickey says they are asking for congress to "do it's job and agree with the president on a comprehensive and cohesive immigration policy."

Rahman counters this is "completely opposite of Texas values.  Refugees are not political pawns or bargaining chips.  It's racist more than anything else."

At least 41 governors have consented to refugee resettlement.   

The Trump administration order allowing governors to opt out is being reviewed by a federal judge in Maryland.