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Abbott silent as refugee resettlement deadline approaches

Abbott silent as refugee resettlement deadline approaches

by Nicole Cobler, Austin American Statesman  |  Published on December 31, 2019

Gov. Greg Abbott has remained silent amid a looming federal deadline that requires states to opt into the refugee resettlement program.

Under a new executive order by President Donald Trump, states must consent in writing before accepting refugees. Abbott is one of a handful of Republican governors who have stayed quiet as the Jan. 21 deadline approaches.

Leaders in Austin and the state’s largest cities sent letters expressing their support for the program, but it’s unclear whether Abbott will sign on. A spokesman for Abbott did not return requests for comment.

In addition to his executive order, Trump slashed the number of refugees allowed in the U.S. to 18,000 for the fiscal year that started Oct. 1, down from 30,000 the previous fiscal year. In 2018, the cap was 45,000.

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