The state of Texas on Wednesday announced that it is withdrawing from the Obama administration’s refugee resettlement program due to the administration’s inability to ensure that refugees resettled in the state do not pose terror threats, according to an announcement by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
Texas informed the Office of Refugee Resettlement in a letter that it will be withdrawing from the program on Jan. 31, 2017. The letter comes on the heels of several weekend terror attacks across the United States
The administration has refused to approve a security plan by the state of Texas aimed at ensuring that refugees are only resettled following in-depth security checks.
Texas officials drafted a plan that would require federal national security officials to provide assurances that none of the individuals being resettled pose a terror threat. The administration has declined to approve this plan.
Abbott said Texas would not accept a single refuge until proper security measures are put in place.
"The federal government’s refugee settlement program is riddled with serious problems that pose a threat to our nation," the governor said in a statement. "The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the director of national intelligence have repeatedly declared their inability to fully screen refugees from terrorist-based nations. Even with the inability to properly vet refugees from Syria and countries known to be supporters or propagators of terrorism, President Obama is now ineptly proposing a dramatic increase in the number of refugees to be resettled in the U.S."
Texas has faced threats from ISIS and arrested earlier this year one Iraqi refugee who had planned to detonate explosives in a Houston mall.
"While many refugees pose no danger, some pose grave danger, like the Iraqi refugee with ties to ISIS who was arrested earlier this year after he plotted to set off bombs at two malls in Houston," Abbott said.
"Despite multiple requests by the state of Texas, the federal government lacks the capability or the will to distinguish the dangerous from the harmless, and Texas will not be an accomplice to such dereliction of duty to the American people," he added. "Therefore, Texas will withdraw from the refugee resettlement program. I strongly urge the federal government to completely overhaul a broken and flawed refugee program that increasingly risks American lives."