Texas joined a growing number of states Monday whose governors said they will not accept any refugees from Syria.
Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that Texas would not accept refugees from the war-torn country due to the terror attacks last Friday in Paris.
"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 in a release.
Abbott said the U.S. government does not have access to the proper background information to conduct security checks on Syrian refugees.
"Neither you nor any federal official can guarantee that Syrian refugees will not be part of any terroristic activity," Abbott said. "As such, opening our door to them irresponsibly exposes our fellow Americans to unacceptable peril."
Governors in Alabama and Michigan announced over the weekend they did not want any refugees from Syria, as well, and the list continued to grow on Monday.
Abbott admitted he didn’t have all the answers, such as what would stop a refugee in one state from moving into Texas.
Dallas immigration attorney Martin Valko said states may hold the purse strings for federal funding from the office of refugee resettlement, but the federal officials can place refugees in states in spite of requests from governors.
Abbott also cannot prevent a person from living in Texas based on their nationality. Even if Abbott directed state offices not to assist refugees, other non-profits that still could help out.
President Barack Obama on Monday said the U.S. needed to step up and do its part to help the refugees and slammed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz for suggesting that only Christian refugees be admitted to the United States.
“They are parents, they are children, they are orphans,” President Obama said on Monday. “It is very important … that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with terrorism.”
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