Texas collides with cities, agencies on Syrian refugees

From Watchdog.org

While Texas cities roll out the welcome mat for Syrian refugees, the state threatens to withhold funding from charities that facilitate settlement.

FUNDING FEUD: Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Chris Traylor says refugee agencies that don’t coordinate with the state risk losing funds.

Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Chris Traylor warned agencies: “I must ask that you fulfill your statutory duty to conduct your activities ‘in close cooperation and advance consultation’ with the State of Texas pursuant to section 1522 of Title 8 of the United States Code.”

“Failure by your organization to cooperate with the state of Texas as required by federal law may result in the termination of your contract with the state and other legal action,” Traylor stated in a letter to 19 refugee agencies.

Meantime, cities are ready to welcome Syrian refugees admitted by the Obama administration.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings brushed aside terror concerns over migrants from the home of ISIS — the Islamic State in Syria.

“I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up,” Rawlings told MSNBC.

Applauding refugees in San Antonio, City Councilman Ron Nirenberg said, ”I’ve gotten to experience the sense of optimism and hope that is strong in San Antonio’s refugee population. Now, we are working to make sure that strength is matched by native San Antonians, eager to lend a helping hand.”

Nirenberg did not specifically comment on the expected influx of Syrian refugees, but a local assistance agency said they’re coming and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott should back off his objections.

“It’s not going to be worth the governor suing the national government,” Jean Sherrill, manager of the private Center for Refugee Services, told Watchdog.org.

Sherrill said the San Antonio center aids 500-700 refugees from around the world each month, though some of those are repeat customers.

Some 4,500 refugees land in Texas annually, and the United States has pledged to add 10,000 Syrians over the next year.

Traylor said, “The governor believes that accepting refugees from Syria is incompatible with an absolute commitment to the safety of Texans because the president has shown the governor no willingness to improve the security screenings of refugees from Syria, despite the abundant evidence that the screenings are ineffective.”

Read more at Watchdog.org

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