Texas Senate OKs Shuttering ‘Symbolic' Texas Refugee Office

The Texas Senate has approved shuttering a state agency that had overseen a federal program resettling refugees in Texas -- a symbolic move that comes months after Gov. Greg Abbott said the state would stop cooperating with the process.

Dallas Republican Sen. Don Huffines' bill passed 20-10 on Monday. It now heads to the state House.

Last year, Abbott said Texas would stop helping the U.S. government provide aid and services to refugees, citing security concerns about people coming from countries like Syria. Refugees are still arriving in Texas, though, since the program is fully federally funded.

The Legislature nonetheless is moving to close Texas' Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs. Under questioning from critical Democrats, Huffines said the agency "was only a go-between" previously, making the move "completely symbolic."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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