Austin Mayor, Feds Colluded as Texas Gov. Sued to Keep Syrian Refugees Out
DECEMBER 20, 2016
After the governor of Texas announced that the state would stop accepting Syrian refugees, the Obama administration went behind his back secretly conferencing with a mayor that offers illegal immigrants sanctuary and Syrians a welcome mat. The plan, evidently, was to continue sending Syrian refugees to the Lone Star State, even as the governor initiated litigation to halt the flow. This week Judicial Watch obtained records of the administration’s behind-the-scenes efforts to keep sending Syrians to Texas despite fierce opposition from state officials over the security threats created by refugees from an Arab nation that’s a hotbed of terrorism.
The White House looked to Austin Mayor Steve Adler, going around the governor to confer with a city leader who espoused the controversial Syrian resettlements, the records show. Shortly after Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that the state wouldn’t accept any more Syrian refugees, the administration responded by colluding with Adler, according to records of a conference call between the mayor’s office and the White House. The administration also furnished Adler with “talking points” involving the refugee resettlement and the parties discussed Abbott’s lawsuit. It seems bizarre that the feds would discuss legal action with a town mayor operating in the state suing them.
Texas and California resettled the overwhelming majority of refugees in 2016, according to federal data, and Texas has absorbed the most Syrians. More than half of the nation’s governors oppose letting Syrian refugees resettle in their state for security reasons. Among them are Michigan, Arizona, Illinois, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia and New Hampshire. A recent national poll found that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose accepting Syrian refugees. Just 36% said they were in favor of “accepting Syrian refugees into the United States,” the poll found. The figures show a big decline in support for accepting Syrian refugees in the last year and a half.
At least two of the terrorists who carried out the deadly attack in Paris last year entered Europe as Syrian refugees, according to French prosecutors, who say the jihadists came through Greece by posing as refugees fleeing from the Syrian conflict. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) has confirmed that individuals with ties to terrorist groups in Syria have tried to infiltrate the United States through the Obama refugee program that has admitted more than 12,000 Syrians and counting. FBI Assistant Director Michael Steinbach has also conceded that the U.S. government has no system to properly screen Syrian refugees.
Texas Governor Abbott cited this in the lawsuit, which eventually got dismissed by a federal judge in Dallas who ruled that the state didn’t have grounds to sue the federal government. In the complaint, Texas accused the federal government of breaching its legal duty because the state was prevented “from receiving vital information to assess the security risk posed by the refugees in advance of their arrival” and that federal authorities refused “to consult with the state in advance on placement of refugees in Texas.” The state appealed the ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals but quietly withdrew it a few days after a separate appellate court rejected a similar appeal from Indiana.
While the legal process was taking place, the Obama administration reached out to a friendly official to assure the Syrian refugees would have a place to land in Texas. Adler, Austin’s mayor since 2014, had publicly proclaimed that Syrian refugees would be received in his city of about 900,000 residents. He even wrote a piece in a local publication last year titled “Syrian Refugees are Welcome in Austin.” Adler assures his constituents in the state’s capital city that “any Syrian refugee coming to the United States faces the most stringent background checks of anyone entering the country.” He proceeds to write that the U.S. only considers refugees screened by the United Nations (the famously corrupt world body) who are then vigorously vetted by the FBI Terrorist Screening Center and other federal agencies. Last month Adler participated in an immigration rally outside City Hall to reiterate his commitment to protecting illegal aliens.
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