By Theodore Shoebat
The governor of Texas just recently sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stating that Texas will not be accepting any more refugees and that non-profits may no longer resettle refugees in Texas. The government of Texas pulled out of the resettlement program in 2016 and left the job to humanitarian non-profits. According to a report from KUT:
Texas will not be resettling refugees in the new fiscal year, Gov. Greg Abbott told federal officials Friday.
State officials had until the end of the month to let federal officials know whether they would resettle refugees, many of whom are fleeing violence in their home countries. The federal government reimburses states for each person they resettle.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott said the state would not be accepting refugees in 2020. In the past decade, he wrote, “roughly 10% of all refugees resettled in the United States have been placed in Texas.”
He said nonprofits in Texas already have “a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here,” which he said includes refugees.
“Texas has carried more than its share in assisting the refugee resettlement process and appreciates that other states are available to help with these efforts,” Abbott wrote.
Interfaith Action of Central Texas is one of those groups providing services, including English classes, to new refugees. Executive Director Simone Talma Flowers called Abbott’s decision “totally unacceptable.”
“I am very upset,” she said. “This is shameful. This is disgusting. I am saddened. It is just absolutely awful.”
While Texas has taken in more refugees than any other state in the past, the numbers aren’t in the hundreds of thousands. From the years 2010-2015, Texas took in 41,647 refugees, which is over eight thousand people a year. In 2016 Texas pulled out of the refugee settlement program but still allowed non-profits to resettle refugees within the state. In 2017, Texas took in only 4,768 refugees and in 2018 it declined substantially to only 1,697 people. This has nothing to do with national security (as the anti-immigration crowd is wont to say) and this has nothing to do with economic security since such a small number of people can not even be paralleled to a serious decline to economic loss. Now Texas completely blocked refugees, preventing non-profits to help refugees settle in the lone star state.
What has motivated such a measure? It is a move to please the anti-immigration lobby in Texas. Those who hate the stranger coming to their land are legion and their voice resounds throughout the internet and can be heard in the group meetings of Texans who believe that they are being invaded by impoverished refugees. And these refugees are not coming here illegally, a fact that flies into the face of the common retort of “I am not against immigrants, just illegal immigrants.” These people are coming into the US legally, to be given the experience of the American freedom of opportunity. In fact, from 2009 to 2011, male refugees of working age had a 67 percent employment rate, while native-born American males had only a 60 percent employment rate during the same time period. According to a report from the National Immigration Forum:
A study of Somali, Burmese, and Hmong refugees found* that, after living in the United States for at least ten years, these populations tended to move from primarily blue collar and service jobs to white collar positions. Nearly, a quarter of the Burmese in the study became executives, administrators, doctors, lawyers, and engineers. The study found that Burmese refugees had a higher percentage (24 percent) in professional capacities compared to U.S.-born employees (16 percent) while Somali, Burmese, and Hmong refugees tend to concentrate over time in teaching, social work, and the arts.
But even these are being lumped in with the illegals who already are the target of hatred from the likes of Stephen Miller, John Tanton, Roy Beck, Ann Coulter, and the rest of the rift-raft who have nothing better to do than bicker about immigrants. To those who are exasperated by immigration I ask: Is your state of Texas, your “culture,” so brittle and weak that you fear it will crumble thanks to a few thousand refugees a year?
This decision to block refugees from coming to Texas is a move to please the anti-Immigrant crowd of Texas. The Republicans have been playing this game for many decades. After the Civil War, Republicans had a positive view of immigration as they recognized its positive aspects of economic growth in the Northern states, and also the benefits of cheap labor in the west. But, anti-Chinese sentiment became so strong that Republicans had to acquiesce and they supported the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 (See Abrajano & Hajnal, White Backlash, pp. 212-213). The Immigration Act of 1924, which promoted immigration from Northern Europe but heavily limited immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe, was a Republican idea devised by Congressman Albert Johnson and Senator David Reed, both Republicans, and signed into law by Calvin Coolidge, a Republican president. Yes, the Democrat Party was filled with racism and eugenics and this history is reflected in today’s Democrat backing of Planned Parenthood, but lets not act as though the Republican Party does not have a history of racism and that this history is not reflected in its current day adamancy to appear ‘tough on immigration.’