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December 07, 2015

Texas Drops Request to Halt Syrian-Refugee Placement in the State

Texas on Friday dropped its request that a federal judge intervene to prevent a national aid charity from placing Syrian refugees in the state, the Associated Press reports. The reversal came a day after the state filed suit against the Obama administration and the International Rescue Committee, which had said it would resettle Syrians in Texas despite Gov. Greg Abbott's vow to block their entry.

Mr. Abbot is one of at least 29 governors who have sought to keep refugees from war-torn Syria out of their states, arguing that the refugees could pose a terrorism risk. Refugee resettlement is a federal responsibility, but Texas accused the aid charity of breaching U.S. law by failing to consult with the state on placements.

The attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton, said the suit succeeded in securing "requested information" about incoming refugees but he did not elaborate. The International Rescue Committee said in a court declaration that it supplied state officials with data they sought on refugees in mid-November. Twenty-one Syrians, most of them under age 13, are slated to be placed in Dallas and Houston this week.