Texas Governor increases refugee tension by banning Syrians

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announces he will not allow any Syrian refugees to enter his state, joining at least 30 other states following deadly Paris attacks claimed by DAESH

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

Updated Nov 21, 2015

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that he will not allow any Syrian refugees to enter his state, joining dozens of others after the US House of Representatives passed a Republican-backed legislation against President Barack Obama’s resettlement plans for Syrian refugees.

About 238 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the state, with having the second highest number in the United States where 31 states have so far announced that they will not accept the upcoming Syrian refugees.

The Obama administration has plans to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the country next year. The US president has stated that he will veto any decision by the Congress against his refugee plan.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012. One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world according to registration records of the United Nations.

Abbott said, “We're not going to accept any more refugees from this dangerous zone of Syria into the state of Texas,” in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday following the Paris attacks.

DAESH terrorist group reportedly claimed to target six different locations in Paris last Friday night, killing at least 129 people and injuring more than 300 others.

Abbott also ordered the health department of the state to suspend all of its services to Syrian refugees and increased their surveillance by the Department of Public Safety according to media accounts.

However, some ordinary Texans who have been interviewed by Turkey’s TRT World have not agreed with the latest decision of their governor on the controversial subject.  

They said Texas should continue to welcome more people including Syrian refugees who have been seeking a “safe haven” for themselves in order to build new lives.

However, in the eastern coast of the country, a Democrat Virginian mayor created a national uproar after publishing a controversial letter in the wake of the Paris attacks stating that Syrian refugees should not be resettled in the US and instead should be placed in internment camps used widely for Japanese Americans during World War II.

After Japan of the Axis Powers attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, then US President Franklin Roosevelt relocated about 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to the ten camps in California, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arkansas.

Although they had not formally committed a crime, many people across the US were worried that they could secretly be loyal to the Axis Powers.

The overcrowded internment camps in which people often reportedly lived in poor living conditions is now considered to be illegal.

In an attempt to heal the scars of the move - which is now considered to be a highly shameful period in the history of the US - the government issued a formal apology in 1988 and paid reparations to former Japanese internees and their heirs.

US media also reported of an alleged hate crime earlier this week against a place of worship for Muslims in the Texas town of Pflugerville where a vandal desecrated the mosque leaving pages of the Quran in human faeces splattered in front of the building of the Islamic Centre.

TRTWorld and agencies