Texas officials are taking their opposition to accepting Syrian refugees to another level. After telling President Barack Obama that they won’t accept them migrating to their state, officials are now warning private charitable organizations that if they take refugees in, they may be sued.
Texas Health Commissioner Chris Traylor sent a letter over Thanksgiving weekend to the International Rescue Committee, a New York-based humanitarian aid organization with offices in Dallas, which signified a willingness to take in Syrian refugees, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“We have been unable to achieve cooperation with your agency,” Traylor wrote in the letter, adding that, “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.”
The Chronicle reported:
Similar letters are expected to be sent to any refugee resettlement group that takes a similar position against Gov. Greg Abbott. The Republican is among more than 30 governors who declared that they will not accept Syrian refugees due to security concerns in the days after terrorists with ties to the Syria-based Islamic State killed at least 130 people in Paris on Nov. 13.
But the federal government has a reputation for bypassing the states by working directly with private organizations.
This came to light last month when Louisiana officials learned that over a dozen Syrian refugees were relocated in the Pelican State — one in Baton Rouge and the rest in New Orleans — without alerting the state.
They were provided assistance by Catholic Charities, a private relief organization, according to WBRZ.
After a few days, the immigrant who had arrived in Baton Rouge left for another state, but Catholic Charities was unsure where exactly, because they don’t keep track of them.
That’s precisely the situation Texas wants to avoid., and to that end, it’s putting private relief organizations on notice — accept Syrian refugees at your own risk.
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