US state to sue agencies accepting Syrian refugees

Washington, Dec 1 (IANS) The Texas state in the US will sue agencies that fail to follow an order issued by Governor Greg Abbott to not accept more Syrian refugees, the media reported on Tuesday.

“Failure by your organisation 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,” said Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Chris Traylor in a letter to International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Traylor, in charge of refugee programmes in Texas, said in the letter that the state “has been unable to achieve cooperation” with the IRC in “relocating some Syrian refugees in the near future”, EFE news reported.

Hours after the November 13 Paris attacks in which 129 people were killed, 30 US governors led by Abbott announced that their respective states will not accept more refugees from Syria considering that any of them could be a threat.

Although Texas and other states argued they can veto the Syrian refugee relocation, President Barack Obama’s administration said their decision would violate federal laws.

IRC, which is headquartered in New York, responded to the letter with a statement recalling that Texas “has long been a safe haven for the world’s most vulnerable refugees”.

“The IRC hopes that Texas will continue to honour this long-standing tradition and its commitment to the US Constitution,” it added.

After the Paris attacks, the US Congress also approved, with the support of Republicans and some Democrats, a bill which in practice blocks Obama’s plan to accommodate 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.

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