In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) introduced a version of this bill during the last Congress after a lawsuit filed by Texas against the federal government to prevent refugee resettlement within the state was dismissed. Culberson said the following about the current version of his bill:
“This bill will restore States’ rights against an overreaching federal government, and it gives power back to governor’s to decide how refugee resettlement is handled under their jurisdiction. It is absurd that the federal government has stripped a State’s ability to choose whether to accept refugees or not. Due to lack of records, refugees continue to be a security threat to our nation, but until this legislation passes, the State is at the mercy of the federal government. Governors have a responsibility to protect the people they represent, and this legislation will allow them to fulfill that duty.”
This legislation has the support of five cosponsors in the House, all of whom are Republicans.
Of Note: The Office of Refugee Resettlement has resettled over 3 million refugees since 1975, with more than three-fourths of them coming from Southeast Asia or the former Soviet Union. On average, annual refugee admissions have ranged between a low of 27,100 in 2002 and a high of 207,116 in 1980.
Summary by Eric Revell(Photo Credit: Hashoo Foundation USA - Houston, Texas via Flickr / Creative Commons)