Governor Greg Abbott wants Texas to stop providing aid to refugees unless the state's demands for additional screening are met.
Vickery Meadow in North Dallas is home to many refugees. There are 30 nationalities speaking 50 languages. The children who live there could lose education funding if Texas is removed from the resettlement program.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins was already planning to visit students at the non-profit's after school program, but took the visit with a new tone. He shared the governor's announcement that he wants to remove Texas from the refugee resettlement program.
Refugees come to the Northwest Community Center each day to get help with their homework by volunteers. The community center would not lose any federal money under the withdraw because it is fully funded by members northwest bible church.
However, neighborhood schools would lose the federal money that helps refugee children. And Texas as a whole would lose $100 million in federal aid that helps refugees for their first six months in the U.S.
"It is a core human value in every faith tradition. We don't turn our backs on people fleeing violence and death,” said Jenkins. “In the war against terror, being a safe harbor helps us win the hearts and minds of people. Comparing people to skittles, these are things terrorists use as reasons to hate America."
Jenkins believes the move is political by Governor Abbott and will ultimately not come to pass.
If Texas is removed from the program, it would not keep refugees from moving here, it would only keep the federal funds from coming.
Governor Abbott's letter comes after the federal government failed to approve a state plan which would require national security officials ensure refugees do not pose a security threat. His letter set September 30 as the deadline for additional security measures to be approved or the state will withdraw from the resettlement program.