Figures released by the U.S. Department of State show 1,697 refugees were resettled in Texas in the federal fiscal year that ended September 30th, despite continuing unrest across Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
For Texas, which has historically led in welcoming refugees since taking in thousands of "Boat People' following the end of the Vietnam War in the 1970s, last year's total was the lowest side the Refugee Act of 1980, and comes as President Trump and Gov. Abbott have attempted to place limits on refugee admissions.
A total of 22,490 refugees were granted legal residency in the USA in the 12 months ending September 30. That's compared to 84,995 refugee admissions in the last full year of the Obama Administration. The total number of refugees admitted last year is actually lower than the cap of 30,000 that has been proposed by President Trump.
Texas was second only to California in admitting the most refugees last year. The totals admitted by some states were very small. New Mexico for example, resettled 65 refugees. Mississippi admitted three.
These figures represent the number of refugees granted legal residency in the U.S., not the number presenting themselves at the border claiming refugee status. Those numbers are up substantially, but indications are that more and more of those individuals are being denied permanent status and many have been deported.
According to the State Department, 40% of the refugees admitted to Texas came from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a chronically troubled Central African nation.
26% of the refugees admitted into Texas last year were from Myanmar, the Asian nation formerly called Burma, which is also in the midst of deadly unrest, and where the Muslim population is facing extermination.
Texas admitted only one refugee from Syria last year, after Abbott sued to try to keep Syrian refugees out of Texas. Many US politicians have been spooked by images of tens of thousands of Syrian refugees flooding into western Europe.
Texas also housed very low levels of refugees claiming persecution in Central America, despite Mexican smuggling gangs advising refugees from what is called the Northern Triangle nations of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to make refugee claims when arriving in Texas. The nations are all largely dominated by criminal gangs.