Gov. Greg Abbott wrote President Barack Obama Monday, saying that accepting Syrian refugees “irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril” and Texas won’t be a party to it.
“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,” Abbott said in the letter. “Effective today, I am directing the Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the state of Texas. And I urge you, as president, to halt your plans to allow Syrians to be resettled anywhere in the United States.”
In the letter, Abbott wrote that, “a Syrian `refugee’ appears to have been part of the Paris terror attack. American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to expose Americans to similar deadly danger. The reasons for such concerns are plentiful. The FBI director testified to Congress that the federal government does not have the background information that is necessary to effectively conduct proper security checks on Syrian nationals, Director Comey explained, `We can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.’”
And Abbott told Obama that, “the threat posed to Texas by ISIS is very real.”
“ISIS claimed credit last May when two terrorist gunmen launched an attack in Garland, Texas,” Abbott wrote Obama. “Less than two weeks later, the FBI arrested an Iraqi-born man in North Texas and charged him with lying to federal agents about traveling to Syria to fight with ISIS. And in 2014, when I served as Texas attorney general, we participated in a Joint Terrorism Task Force that arrested two Austin residents for providing material support to terrorists — including Isis.”
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