As Texas officials spar with Obama administration lawyers over refugee resettlement, Amarillo is building Muslim “ghettos.”
Under federal refugee programs, the North Texas town has become home to more than 1,000 Mideast migrants – giving Amarillo the highest refugee ratio in the country.
“Our education system is overloaded with kids who can’t speak English. We have something like 22 languages spoken in our schools,” said William Sumerford, a local taxpayer activist.
City Commissioner Randy Burkett is considering a plan to halt further refugee settlements. Burkett could not be reached, but Mayor Paul Harpole isn’t optimistic about the city’s authority to push back.
“We’ve been a giving community, and it’s a huge disservice to bring in refugees in numbers that we’re not able to handle. We create small ghettos,” Harpole told Watchdog.org.
“A group of Somalis came in to say they had elected a mayor of their community,” Harpole related. “Then another faction claimed they had their own leader. We come to find out that rival tribes — slaves and masters — were being settled together.”
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission last month sued the federal government and the nonprofit International Rescue Committee, asserting the Refugee Act of 1980 requires Washington to “consult regularly” with state and local officials before resettling refugees.
The Justice Department responded that Texas was trying to exert veto power “over individual federal refugee resettlement decisions” by banning Syrian refugees.
“Federal law requires the Obama administration to work with Texas in the refugee resettling process,” Katherine Wise, spokeswoman for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, told Watchdog.org. “The response by the Obama administration makes it clear that it has no intention of cooperating with us.”
The situation heated up last week when two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Houston and Sacramento during an ISIS terrorism investigation.
“This serves as yet another wake-up call to anyone who has doubts about the real and imminent threat we face from Obama’s dangerous and reckless refugee policies,” said U.S. Rep. Brian Babin, R-Baytown.
Babin in July introduced HR 3314 to suspend the refugee resettlement program pending a cost analysis by the Government Accountability Office and a national security risk assessment.
Kenric Ward writes for the Texas Bureau of Watchdog.org. Contact him at [email protected]. @Kenricward
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