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House Committee to Hear Updates on Refugee Program
On Tuesday, December 15th, the House Committee on Human Services will receive an update on the Governor’s directive regarding Syrian refugee settlement.
The Governor’s directive instructs refugee resettlement agencies (most of which are faith-based nonprofits) to violate federal law or risk being sued or having a contract revoked by the state. Federal law clearly mandates the state and refugee resettlement agencies to provide assistance and services without regard to nationality. [8 U.S.C. §1522(a)(5)]
Texas sued the International Rescue Committee and the Federal Government on December 2nd. After initially withdrawing their motion for a temporary restraining order, the state filed for a second restraining order on December 9th. A federal judge ruled against the state’s request writing that the state’s evidence “is largely speculative hearsay.”
The committee will hear invited testimony only from the Texas Health and Human Service Commission (HHSC), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), and Catholic Charities of Ft. Worth. Although the committee will not take public testimony, it's important members know how you feel--consider attending the hearing and visiting your legislator's office afterward.