Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott shocked his constituents and other Americans when he became the first governor to announce that his state would not accept any refugees whatsoever—even if said refugees were vetted and came through the proper channels.
Abbott says his state's resources should go to Texas instead.
The Governor said in a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
"At this time, the state and non-profit organizations have a responsibility to dedicate available resources to those who are already here, including refugees, migrants, and the homeless — indeed, all Texans."
Abbott's power to refuse refugees comes from an Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump in September of last year—an order which requires permission from state and local officials before resettling refugees through federal programs.
The Governor's abandonment of refugees isn't without its share of detractors, however.
In fact, some of the loudest voices against the move are leaders of Abbott's own faith.
All 16 of Texas's Catholic bishops have signed a letter condemning Abbott's decision to shut out refugees, saying:
"While the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops respects the governor, this decision is simply misguided. It denies people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans. As Catholics, an essential aspect of our faith is to welcome the stranger and care for the alien."
For his part, Abbott says the decision to bar refugees won't keep them out of the United States—just out of Texas.
But most people seem to be taking the sides of the Bishops.
“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me”… https://t.co/DNzWmzJQpk— Ted Lieu (@Ted Lieu)1579098715.0
Good. https://t.co/LoVRDk4ZJM— Xavier Gonzalez Jr (@Xavier Gonzalez Jr)1579099445.0
Look. An attempt to put the Christ back in Christian. https://t.co/6CZJ8eBzJy— Catherine Culley (@Catherine Culley)1579100214.0
Ouch. Abandoned by his own religion for being a racist idiot. https://t.co/SE9jaKCX01— Will Savage (@Will Savage)1579098956.0
I want to see a fuller context for both sides of this issue but on face value, wow. I grew up in a staunchly Rep fa… https://t.co/SDyzCEIfvF— edleader (@edleader)1579097723.0
As a proud Texan, I am ashamed of this act. We are a state with ample resources. A fantastic economy. A diverse pop… https://t.co/OdKDBHxyMD— Roby Potts (@Roby Potts)1579100060.0
As they should. https://t.co/NWxnMkRq2o— Abraham (@Abraham)1579097916.0
Republicans first, Christians second https://t.co/wrzkPsc3ZX— Henry Luther (@Henry Luther)1579101278.0
Abbot's stance has yet to undergo a conversion.