Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas, defended his governor’s decision to not accept refugees in 2020, noting that Texas has done more for refugees than any other state.
Paxton, who has served as the top lawyer for Texas since 2015, appeared on Fox News to discuss GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to not accept refugees, becoming the first governor in the country to take up President Donald Trump’s offer. Much like the governor’s own statement, Paxton argued that Texas has taken in more refugees over the years than any other state, and it was time for other states to “step up.”
“I think the message is pretty simple from the governor. Since 2010, in the letter he makes it very clear, we’ve allowed more refugees into our state than any other state. All the time we’ve been believing that Congress would fix our immigration problems, secure the borders. They haven’t done that,” Paxton said Tuesday on “Fox & Friends.”
“So we also have the border issue that we’ve been dealing with lots of immigrants coming in. And I think the governor is saying, ‘Hey, one — Congress, fix this. Two — it’s time for other states to step up and help with this. Texas has been doing their share for a long time,’” the attorney general continued.
Trump issued an executive order in 2019 that gave authority to state and local governments over whether they would want to accept refugees. So far, roughly 40 states have signaled that they would keep accepting refugees. Abbott on Friday became the first governor to announce that he would put a plug on refugee resettlement.
Texas has accepted more refugees than any other state since fiscal year 2010, and about 10% of all refugees have been placed in the state, Abbott said. The Republican governor went on to argue in his public statement that Texas has had “to deal with the consequences” of a broken immigration system that Congress has failed to fix.
Paxton concurred, noting that other, non-border states are doing the “right thing” by taking refugees in. The decision to accept refugees is done on an annual basis and does not necessarily mean the Texas government will permanently ban them.
“We have done our share for a long time, and we’re going to continue to do our share given the fact that Congress is not reacting to the border crisis,” the attorney general said. “And I am thankful that the president is. We still have an issue on the border. We are still dealing with that every single day in all kinds of ways.”
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Image: Gage Skidmore
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