January 17, 2020
NCAPA Calls On Texas Opt in to Justice with Refugee Resettlement
Washington, DC— After more than 40 other governors said they would opt in to the federal refugee resettlement program, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that his state would opt out of the federal program. In September 2019, President Trump issued an executive order that placed a cap on refugees to just 18,000 a year, the lowest since the enactment of the Refugee Resettlement Act in 1980. The executive order also effectively allowed state and local governments to opt in or opt out of the Refugee Resettlement Program.
The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement:
“Gov. Abbott’s decision to opt out of refugee resettlement is a decision to opt out of justice and human rights. We at NCAPA believe that Texas has the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to core American values, so we call on its leaders to opt into freedom. We also call on Texas to act in accordance with the decision of U.S. District Judge Messitte, who ruled to halt the executive order, acknowledging how unjust this is for refugee communities.”
“Gov. Abbott sets a poor example for other states in rejecting refugees. There is a sad irony that since 1975, there have been over 360,000 Asian refugees that have resettled in the United States, mostly in Texas, who also comprise over half of the total refugees living here today. In addition, Texas is one of the top five states in which Pacific Islander immigrants have made their home, seeking employment and educational opportunities. At a time where national unity is a slogan for those whom seemingly oppose racial justice, this is an act that voids responsibility and further divides our country, which has been built by immigrants and refugees.”
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 35 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.