WASHINGTON, D.C. — Gov. Greg Abbott today became the first governor to refuse refugee resettlement in his state this fiscal year.
The decision comes in response to President Trump’s executive order requiring states and localities to consent to refugee resettlement. Texas resettled more refugees than any other state in 2018. So far, 42 governors — including 19 Republicans — have consented to resettling refugees.
In 2015 alone, refugees in Texas had a combined spending power of $4.6 billion and paid a total of $1.6 billion in taxes.
“This is a big mistake — Texas has always done a great job with the resettlement of refugees, and this is a very short-sighted view from our governor,” said Stan Marek, CEO of Marek Brothers Construction, based in Houston. “What will our children learn from such an example?”
“It’s extremely disappointing to see Texas, which for years has led the nation in welcoming refugees, close its doors to those fleeing violence and persecution,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “At a time of historically low state unemployment rates, why would Texas turn away refugees with an entrepreneurial spirit that contributes to local communities and economies? Turning away those seeking safety and opportunity isn’t just disheartening — for Texas, it’s bad business.”