Texas Governor Abbott Mum On Accepting Refugees

Barbara Schwarz
January 09, 2020 - 6:07 am
 Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Drew Anthony Smith / Stringer

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - Close to 40 governors have told the Trump administration they will accept refugees, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott has yet to give an answer. 

The deadline to do so is January 21st.

Krish Vignarajah, president and CEO of Baltimore based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service says Texas has led the nation in welcoming refugees.  

She says as of 2015, refugees in Texas earned $6.2 billion and household income and paid $1.6 billion in taxes, "This is not just kind of a value that I think Americans hold close to their heart and their faiths, but it's also in the self-interest of communities and states."

Refugees admitted to the United States go through extreme vetting by the US and by US federal agencies. "What we've actually seen is communities that have embraced refugees have actually become safer."

Vignarajah says the governor may not say anything, which would mean refugees will not be welcome in Texas.

This could be a moot point, actually. A  federal judge in Maryland is weighing whether to block a presidential executive order allowing state and local governments to reject refugees. The judge has heard arguments on a request by three national refugee resettlement agencies. Justice Department attorneys say the executive order requires "enhanced consultation'' with state and local officials but doesn't give them a "veto."