AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM) - Earlier this year, Gov. Greg Abbott told the U.S. government that Texas would be withdrawing from the federal refugee resettlement program. Now, after a brutal attack on the Ohio State University campus, a Republican state official from Dallas wants to take Abbott's action a step further.
State Sen. Don Huffines filed a bill on Tuesday that would codify Abbott's decision. "Texas must solidify Gov. Abbott's refugee policy," Huffines said in a news release. "While there are promising leadership changes coming to our federal government, we simply cannot wait for Congress to take decisive action."
Officials in Texas had been urging the federal government to make "common sense" changes to the refugee program including checks to ensure that those coming to Texas did pose a security risk. The federal government ignored the requests, and Abbott made his withdrawal official in September. It will take effect on January 31.
"I'm proud to join Gov. Abbott in his effort to keep Texans safe from poorly screened refugees from countries with clear ties to terrorism," Huffines said. "Until the new administration and Congress act, Texas will find a way."
The bill filed by Huffines comes just one day after an attack on the Ohio State University campus. Nearly a dozen people were injured when a man from Somalia went after students with both a car and a knife. He was gunned down by police. He arrived in the U.S. from Pakistan with his mom and siblings, passing through DFW International Airport as part of the government's resettlement program. He lived in Dallas for 23 days before moving to Ohio.
"The refugee resettlement program has been little more than a red carpet welcome for potential terrorists," Huffines added in his news release. "Until the program is significantly redesigned and the federal government makes assurances to Gov. Abbott and me that refugees don't pose a security threat, Texas will not be complicit in welcoming radical Islamic extremists who are eager to kill and maim innocent Texans."
Investigators are still trying to determine if the Ohio State University attack was indeed an act of terrorism.
"Texans have big hearts, and are a generous people, but we must stop refugee resettlement until the program makes sense for our state, and our people," Huffines concluded.
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