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Texas Sues Feds to Block Syrian Refugees

The Texas Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Texas.

Citing the Refugee Act of 1980, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop the federal government from placing Syrian refugees with non-profit organizations in Texas. The act requires that the federal government consult with state authorities. Reports indicate that the federal government plans to place additional Syrian refugees in Texas as soon as this coming Friday.

The federal government is calling on the agency responsible for placing refugees in Texas to do so without disclosing even basic information that would help Texas authorities resolve their security concerns, Paxton’s office said in a press release obtained by Breitbart Texas.

“While Texans are compassionate to our core, and take in more refugees than any other state, significant security concerns have been raised about President Obama’s plans to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, nationwide,” Paxton said in his statement. “The federal government’s stated inability to run effective background checks on these refugees, entering the United States from one of the world’s most potent hotbeds of terrorism, puts all Texans at risk. Under the law, the federal government has a responsibility to consult with states in advance when relocating refugees, and has not fulfilled that burden here.”

Governor Greg Abbott was asked about the matter during a press conference he hosted with Texas journalists via telephone from the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. “It is irresponsible for them to press on,” Abbott said. “I am relying on national security leaders and not refugee resettlement leaders.”

National security leaders have repeatedly testified before Congress that they cannot guarantee that Islamic State terrorists will not infiltrate the ranks of Syrian refugees. Paxton’s press release states that FBI Director James Comey recently told Congress that the federal government cannot conduct effective security checks on Syrian nationals, testifying that “we can query our database until the cows come home, but nothing will show up because we have no record of them.” Paxton added, “National Intelligence Director James Clapper summed up the worries of these federal counterterrorism experts: ‘I don’t, obviously, put it past the likes of ISIL to infiltrate operatives among these refugees.’”

“The point of this lawsuit is not about specific refugees, it is about protecting Texans by ensuring that the federal government fulfills its obligation to properly vet the refugees and cooperate and consult with the state.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and is a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter@BobPriceBBTX.

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