A group of students in Texas are joining with other activists to protest Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s order to stop the state from participating in the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
Abbott issued the order on Monday amid security concerns as more and more federal officials admit they cannot properly screen the refugees to ensure the safety of Americans.
Leaders of the Syrian People Solidarity Group are planning the protest for Sunday, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The Austin-based group says it aims change the way people see Syrians. The event is planned for noon at the Governor’s Mansion in Austin.
“Governor Greg Abbott has stated that Texas will not be participating in the US resettlement [sic] plan for Syrian refugees (although he actually has no authority to make such a decision), citing concerns that no one can ‘guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity,’” the group wrote in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “Join us this Sunday at the Governor’s Mansion at noon to demand that Governor Abbott not use Islamophobic rhetoric when talking about state policy and that refugees from all countries should be welcome here!”
It is not clear whether state governors can refuse resettlement of these unvetted refugees in their states, but the governor can certainly direct state agencies involved in the programs and make demands of the federal government. Under federal law, states do have the authority and obligation to consult with government on issues of refugee resettlement. U.S. Representative Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) introduced legislation this week to attempt to clarify the law and the states’ authority in order to avoid costly and lengthy litigation, Breitbart Texas reported.
“Let’s resolve this now with legislation, instead of having to wait for years to battle it out in court,” Poe said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas. “This is an issue the states’ governors should be able to decide.”
On Monday, Breitbart Texas reported that Governor Abbott ordered the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Refugee Resettlement Program to “not participate in the resettlement of any Syrian refugees in the State of Texas.”
“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 on Monday.
On Tuesday, Representative Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) released a three-minute YouTube video from a House Homeland Security hearing on the “Worldwide Threats and Homeland Security Challenges” that revealed how unprepared the heads of federal agencies tasked with protecting Americans are to handle the proposed influx of Syrian refugees, Breitbart Texas’ Lana Shadwick reported. During the hearing, Rep. Smith noted a “red flag” – the profile of these Syrian refugees does not meet the profile of the typical refugee family. He said these Syrian refugees are “young, single, males, as opposed to family members”…