Texas leads the nation in refugee resettlement despite objections from the governor and a lawsuit from the state. The Lone Star State is now home to 2,677 refugees who have been settled in the state since October 2015. While Texas is followed closely by California, who has resettled 2,654 refugees, the next closest state is Washington with about half that resettled in Texas, according to information obtained from the U.S. Department of State by Breitbart Texas.
Washington, D.C., home to President Barack Obama and the State Department that manages the Presidents refugee resettlement plan has taken in zero refugees. The President’s home state of Hawaii has also not had any refugees forced upon their residents. Four other states; Arkansas, Delaware, Montana, and Wyoming, have also taken in zero refugees.
The State Department report, attached below, states that Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients who have elected and received U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) Reception and Placement (R&P) benefits are not included in this report.
While the report does not indicate the country of origin of the people counted in this report, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Texas has received eighty-two of the 1,285 Syrians who have arrived in the United States this year.
Shortly after the November 13, 2015, terrorist attack in Paris, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Texas would refuse to accept any Syrian refugees, Breitbart Texas reported.
“Given the tragic attacks in Paris and the threats we have already seen, Texas cannot participate in any program that will result in Syrian refugees – any one of whom could be connected to terrorism – being resettled in Texas,” Governor Abbott said in a letter to President Obama.
The following day, Governor Abbott told reporters the United States was “playing the same game of risk that Europe played” referring to the “individual who entered Europe and then participated in the terroristic bombing of Paris.” He told reporters he is not willing to “roll the dice” and take that risk on Texans.
Two weeks later, the Texas Attorney General filed a lawsuit attempting to block the resettlement of these Syrian refugees in 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,” Attorney General Ken 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.”
Texas representatives in the U.S. House also spoke out about resettling refugees that Obama Administration officials admitted could not be properly vetted.
Three top Obama security officials testified in October, three weeks before the Paris attack, that terrorists would likely attempt to hide within the refugee population and make their way into Europe and the United States.
After asking about how officials can properly vet these refugees and their applications for asylum, Lamar Smith responded saying “… you are sorta having to take their word for it.”
The issues has also become a campaign issue in the 2016 presidential campaign as Republicans Ted Cruz and Donald Trump oppose the President while Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders support the resettlement program.
Despite the protestations from Texas and over half of the states and admissions by top security officials about the effectiveness of the vetting process, President Obama plans to proceed with resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees during this fiscal year.