In September 2019, President Trump signed an executive order requiring that refugee resettlement agencies get written consent from state and local officials in any jurisdiction where they want to help resettle refugees beyond June 2020.
Texas became the first state to announce it will opt out of a federal refugee resettlement program in 2020 – a decision made possible by an executive order by President Trump.
The move drew a reaction from U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat and Somali immigrant who earlier in the week decried a similar move by county-level officials in her home state of Minnesota that was also facilitated by Trump’s order.
In a letter Friday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, argued that his state has already done “more than its fair share” in resettling refugees and “continues to have to deal with the consequences of an immigration system that Congress has failed to fix.”
In addition, he pointed out that, according to federal numbers, about 100,000 migrants have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border into Texas since May 2018. He also stated that in the 2018 fiscal year, Border Patrol agents apprehended migrants from China, Iran, Kenya, Russia and Tonga.
#Breaking: Texas governor @GregAbbott_TX says no to more #refugee resettlement. “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.” ?? pic.twitter.com/XyOqoMM44P
— Dianne Solis (@disolis) January 10, 2020
In response, Omar tweeted words from “The New Colossus,” the 1883 sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus that is mounted inside the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal.
“With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,’” Omar quoted.
She then wrote, “These are the words that welcomed me and millions of refugees. I still believe in those values. We shall overcome.”
“With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.’”
These are the words that welcomed me and millions of refugees.
I still believe in those values.
We shall overcome ✊? https://t.co/DNdPa9CavV
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) January 11, 2020