Elsewhere online
December 01, 2015

Texas Tangles With National Refugee Charity Over Syrians

Texas leaders are demanding reassurance from the International Rescue Committee that it will cease placing Syrian refugees in the state, raising the specter of legal action or a funding cut if the charity does not comply, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.

In a letter last week to the New York-based group's Dallas office, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Chris Traylor warned that the committee would be in violation of its state contract if it did not comply with Gov. Greg Abbott's order to reject Syrian refugees. Texas is among more than two dozen states seeking to block the entry of people fleeing Syria's bloody civil conflict, arguing that terrorists could enter the country under the guise of refugee status.

In a statement Monday, the charity said it plans to continue placing Syrians in Texas as "part of our mission and mandate from the U.S. Federal government," which has primary authority in refugee matters. Most of the nearly 20 organizations Texas health officials previously asked to refrain from resettling Syrian refugees have "expressed a willingness to work with the state" on the issue, Mr. Traylor said.

Read a Chronicle of Philanthropy article on donor support for charities working to resettle Syrian refugees.