Texas has a long and proud history of welcoming refugees. For years, our friendly state has resettled more refugees than any other but on January 10th, Governor Abbott announced that Texas will be the first state to not allow refugees to be resettled this fiscal year. This action was in response to President Trump’s Executive Order requiring state and local consent for refugee resettlement.
On January 15th, a federal judge temporarily halted the Executive Order finding that the new refugee policy is likely “unlawful” and “does not appear to serve the overall public interest.”
So what does this turnaround mean for Texas? While this temporary stay means that refugee resettlement can continue as normal in Texas for now, it is essential that we continue to let our governor know how we feel about his announcement and our desire to continue to welcome refugees to our state. It is a shameful decision that will harm the very families and communities that make Texas the great state it is. From cultural contributions, to growing the business community, to the skills, talents and ingenuity they bring with them, refugees, SIVs, and aslym seekers add to our state.
This is a certianly a blow, but it does not overshadow the incredible accomplishments of supporting refugees and immigrants for the last 45 years in Dallas. If the Executive Order stands, our office may change, but we will continue to provide a range of services and programs outside of direct resettlement. These include our career development program, our immigration services, our youth mentoring program, and our mental health services, among others.
Today we recommit to supporting refugees and immigrants and will do everything we can to sustain our work on behalf of our clients.
How you can join us and help today
- Advocate. Contact Governor Abbott (you can call, send an email, or tweet) and tell him that you support refugee resettlement and want to see the state’s long tradition of welcome continue.
- Donate. Make a donation or host a Facebook fundraiser to help us sustain the IRC in Dallas’ programs that help refugees thrive and integrate successfully into their new communities.
- Volunteer. Review volunteer opportunities to learn how you can support refugees in your community.