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Refugee Group Defies Texas Governor: Still Bringing Syrians to Lone Star State

The International Rescue Committee (IRC), a federal refugee resettlement contractor, says six Syrian refugees will arrive in Dallas as early as today, defying Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to pull out of federal Syrian refugee resettlement programs because of security screening concerns.

NBC DFW (KXAS 5) reported that the six refugees are expected to be placed in the Dallas area despite Abbott’s concerns over the Syrian refugee security screening process following the Islamic State’s Paris terrorist attack last month.

The six Syrians are relatives of the al Sharaa family, who the IRC resettled in the Dallas suburb of Richardson nearly 10 months ago. The family rents a one bedroom apartment with four and 14 month old daughters, noted the Dallas NBC affiliate. This morning, KXAS 5 confirmed that al Sharaa took a late night flight to New York City to meet up with his brother and his family. The CEO of the IRC was expected to greet them.

The Syrian family traveled from Jordan and includes the brother, his wife, a four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son plus the parents of the brother and al Sharaa, said Anne Marie Weiss-Armush whose local non-profit DFW International Community Alliance assists with resettlements but is not a federal contractor, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The IRC also intends to resettle them in Dallas, even though earlier this week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block the resettlement of Syrians given those security concerns, Breitbart Texas reported. The state seeks to delay the arrival for at least a week until after a federal judge can hear the state’s challenge. The Obama administration pushed back saying states do not have the authority to block refugees.

In a statement earlier this week, Paxton commented that Texans “are compassionate to our core, and take in more refugees than any other state” but underscored the federal government’s inability to run effective background checks on these refugees “entering the United States from one of worlds’ most potent hotbeds of terrorism, puts all Texans at risk.” Abbott added: “I am relying on national security leaders and not refugee resettlement leaders.”

Texas State Health and Human Services Commission head Chris Traylor wrote to the U.S. State Department and the IRC in Dallas that Abbott wanted his security concerns “appropriately addressed,” including all case information about the Syrians scheduled to resettle in Texas over the next three months. Traylor advised the IRC that failure to cooperate with the state “may result in the termination of your contract with the state and other legal action.”

The IRC defends bucking Abbott’s orders, citing their responsibility to honor their contract with the U.S. State Department and fulfill the job of resettling the Syrian refugees.

On Wednesday, Abbott said that the State Department offered “absolutely no guarantees” about the security concerns regarding the new arrivals. National security leaders have testified before Congress admitting that they cannot guarantee Islamic State terrorist will not infiltrate the ranks of Syrian refugees. Despite claims made by the Islamic State that they will infiltrate the Syrian refugee population, Democratic Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, told MSNBC he was “more fearful” of “young white men” performing mass shootings in theaters and schools, comments make a week before the horrific San Bernadino slaughter, which Breitbart California reported was an act of radical Islamic terror.

IRC spokeswoman Lucy Carrigan said that a second Syrian family is expected to arrive in Texas over the next week. Another IRC staffer, Daley Ryan, insisted: “The refugees are the most vetted population entering the United States, bar none.”

Texas took in approximately 240 Syrians since 2011, the NBC affiliate noted.

Follow Merrill Hope on Twitter @OutOfTheBoxMom.

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