Texas Withdraws from Federal Refugee Resettlement Program

Welcome_to_Texas_sign,_2008Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently announced that the state of Texas formally withdrew from the federal Refugee Resettlement Program. The decision to refuse participation was made after the federal government ignored numerous requests from Texas officials for assurances that refugees resettled into the state were adequately vetted to rule out security concerns they might pose. Texas officials had warned the federal government that it would withdraw unless the federal government fulfills the state’s information requests.

“Texas has repeatedly requested that the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Director of National Intelligence provide assurances that refugees resettled in Texas will not pose a security threat, and that the number of refugees resettled in Texas would not exceed the State’s original allocation in fiscal year 2016 – both of which have been denied by the federal government,” Abbott commented. “As a result, Texas will withdraw from the refugee resettlement program.”

Currently, twelve other states refuse to participate in the Refugee Resettlement program. These states are referred to as Wilson-Fish states, after the amendment in federal law that allows states to discontinue participation in the non-mandatory federal program and requires the federal government to develop alternative plans for refugees. Wilson-Fish states do not participate in the placement process or administer aid to refugees, unless specifically required by state or federal law. Often, the federal government circumvents states that refuse to participate with the program by contracting with third party organizations to facilitate refugee placement into those states. Withdrawal from the Refugee Resettlement program, however, will ensure state taxpayer resources are not spent in the resettlement process.

Because states are required to give the federal government 120 day’s notice of their withdrawal, Texas may be forced to continue participation as late as until the beginning of next year. So far, Texas has taken in 9.25 percent of all refugees resettled in the nation this year, more than any other state in the country.

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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar
    Louis Grue Jr. on

    The only way you will stop the invasion of illegal immigrants is to get rid of this democratic pro Islam American government, There will be no other way after this election, because the Democrats under Hillary will replace the supreme court with socialist judges, and they will give her what ever she wants. Forget about the congress, they will play ball with all those crooks, they are in it for the money. They will ultimately lose the game they are playing !

  2. avatar

    We have taken in a little over 9%, that’s more than any other state in the nation we should have stopped long before now we have our own illegal immigrants coming in more than any other state accept California so its time to start taking care of our own FIRST!

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  4. avatar

    To make a comment on the Presidential election, if Trump loses, which seems likely at this point, there is going to be a lot of commentary in the media about how the position of reducing immigration is a losing position for a Presidential candidate so future Republican Presidential candidates should embrace open borders. But I can say from my own experience that there are people who are for lower levels of immigration, border security, etc. that are so turned off by Trump personally that they can’t vote for him.

    So even though the immigration issue is a big part of the reason Trump got the nomination, the Presidential election really isn’t an up or down vote on what people think about open borders. If the Republican candidate had similar positions on immigration but was more popular personally, say a candidate more like the new British Prime Minister, they potentially could be doing a lot better in the polls in my opinion.

    • avatar

      Look at Oregon, a state that has not voted Republican since the 80s. Yet in 2014, they voted on a separate one issue only ballot measure to deny licenses to illegals by a 2 to 1 vote. Last night Kaine repeated that lie that it is “unconstitutional” to block immigrants of any particular religion. The same garbage that Muslim guy was trying to peddle when he takes out his copy of the constitution at the Democratic convention and asks Trump if he had read it.

      There is nothing in the constitution that remotely implies foreign nationals have the right to come here and in fact the president is authorized to bar any person or group for any reason. But just give Hillary a couple of Supreme Court nominations and they will come up with some “right”.

      I think Pence’s performance last night says 2 things about Hillary. First, she did the typical political calculation of picking a guy whose sole qualification seems to be he might swing Virginia into her column. Trump picked the best guy he could, from a state he knew he would win anyway. And Hillary obviously has health issues. Do we want Kaine as president? Or Pence if it came to that? A lot of those comments about women, as bad as they look now, were said tongue in cheek on the Howard Stern show. I heard many of his appearances myself. But let’s hope people wake up.

      • avatar

        Too bad we can’t have a national level Brexit style vote on the issue of illegal immigration, border security, etc.

  5. avatar

    Wilson-Fish States just need to enact a STATE LAW requiring all private and religious organizations to get State approval prior to agreeing to accept refugees. Refugees will be using state resources ( police, fire, ambulance, public schools, etc.) so the State has a vested interest and legal right to regulate the transaction.

  6. avatar

    It has long been obvious to anyone following the immigration debate that this president ignores the law. He claims he doesn’t have the power to take actions and then takes them anyway. Nor is it restricted to immigration. A Sept. 30 Associated Press story said:

    “The Obama administration failed to follow the president’s healthcare law in a $5 billion dollar dispute over compensating insurers for high costs for seriously ill patients.” “The administration’s interpretation of the law ‘is inconsistent with the plain language of the statute,’ she [GAO General Counsel Susan Poling] said.”

    A story on PJMedia.com last week reported: “A General Services Administration inspector general released a scathing letter Thursday accusing White House operatives of slow-walking open records requests and wrongly punishing conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.”

    This stuff is positively Nixonian. Too bad there’s not a paper like the Washington Post to go after these things, like Watergate. There is a paper with that name, but it’s now owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is just another globalist Hillary shill. The paper took a lot of heat during the primaries for never ending one sided hit pieces on Bernie Sanders.

    Hillary is supposed to the working man’s champion but Amazon is known for it’s overstressed, overworked, low paid workforce. That’s why all these big tech billionaires love her. They know Trump will put an end to their mass immigration plans and free trade deals that invariably hurt American workers.

    We no long have a “free press”. What we have is media owned by a few giant corporations and rich individuals. Like Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim owning a large share of NY Times stock. Want to comment on Huffpo? Now you need Facebook or similar account and you get scrubbed if you say anything “racist”.

  7. avatar

    So Texas is now a Wilson-Fish state. This has not stopped the federal government from resettling refugees in other Wilson-Fish states. The refugee resettlement agencies will now simply work directly with the State Department, bypassing the state of Texas completely. The state government and local governments are now completely out of the loop. Resettlement will continue. But now all transparency is lost in Texas.

    It is a known fact that FOIA requests to state governments are more quickly answered. Try to get information from the State Department and you will wait YEARS for a response. At least with the states acting as a pass through entity, we have the ability to find out – eventually – what’s going on. Now in Texas we are blind.

    The only way this works to Texas’ benefit is if the state refuses any and all public assistance to refugees. The problem is this: this approach sets Texas up for a head-on collision with the Federal government.

    Under the current federal administration, I doubt that Texas can win that fight. But some fights are worth fighting and must to be fought whether you will or lose…