2020 Democrat candidate Michael Bloomberg campaigned in Texas last weekend. His entourage included campaign surrogate Judge Judy. Bloomberg has some thoughts about Governor Abbott’s decision to opt-out of the refugee resettlement program.
During an interview in Dallas Saturday, he called the governor’s decision “an outrage”.
“I just think that that’s an outrage,” Bloomberg said Saturday night in an interview with The Dallas Morning News and KXAS-TV (NBC 5). “This is America. We shouldn’t be doing this. … It’s not good for Texas. It’s not good for America. It’s certainly not good for the people who are trying to get here.”
Bloomberg added that America is “too wealthy” and “too caring to let this happen.”
Governor Abbott made news with his decision to opt-out of the refugee resettlement program because he is the first governor to do so. For Bloomberg to throw the you-just-don’t-care-enough card is the very worst kind of political pandering. As a taxpaying resident of the Great State of Texas, I would challenge Bloomberg to prove that any other state is doing more than its fair share for migrants and refugees. The brutal truth is that the social services resources of Texas are stretched thin due to the demands of massive waves of illegal immigration that have flocked to the Texas border with Mexico. The billionaire from the failing blue state of New York isn’t winning over any Independent voters with such nonsense about the very successful red state of Texas.
The governor’s letter to the Trump administration essentially overrides cities like Dallas that opted-in to the program. The Trump administration made the change that officials must consent in writing before refugees can be resettled.
In a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott said Texas bears a “disproportionate” burden from illegal immigration and must concentrate the resources it and its nonprofits have on the needy already here — “refugees, migrants and the homeless — indeed, all Texans.”
Bloomberg called out Governor Abbott by saying “He’s the only governor so far that has taken advantage of the changing of the rules that you can stop people from coming in.” That’s true. Many of the other governors who have decided to participate in refugee resettlement are Republicans so it isn’t a traditional political party issue. It’s not an issue of a lack of compassion, nor is it a racist call – Abbott’s wife Cecilia is Texas’ first Hispanic First Lady. The governor responded through a spokesman.
A spokesman for Abbott said the governor was doing what was best for Texas.
“Over the past 10 years Texas has taken in more refugees than any other state,” said spokesman John Wittman. “Our resources need to be focused on those who are here right now.”
Wittman said Texas is still resettling refugees from last year.
Religious leaders from around the state are weighing in, too. Texas’ Catholic bishops (Abbott is Catholic) issued a joint statement by the
Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. Texas has 15 dioceses. The bishops called Abbott’s decision “discouraging and disheartening.”
“While the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops respects the governor, this decision is simply misguided,” the group wrote. “It denies people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans.”
“As Catholics, an essential aspect of our faith is to welcome the stranger and care for the alien,” the statement said.
Abbott’s message was the same as his initial response. Texas cannot go it alone in taking care of those seeking a life in the United States. Other states can step up now and later the refugees are welcome to move to Texas with means of their own. The state has an obligation to care for those already here.
“No one seeking refugee status in the United States will be denied that status because of the Texas decision,” he stated in an email. “Importantly, the decision by Texas will not prevent any refugee from coming to America. Equally important, the Texas decision doesn’t stop refugees from moving to Texas after initially settling in another state.”
Individual bishops issued their own statements, too. This bishop from Brownsville asked Abbott to reconsider in a tweet.
The Governor’s decision not to allow the Federal refugee resettlement program to operate in Texas affects refugees vetted by the current administration. They flee violence & persecution, and seek a chance to live, work & contribute in peace.
The Governor should reconsider.
— Amigo de Frodo (@bpdflores) January 11, 2020
This isn’t the first time religious leaders have criticized Abbott over immigration -related issues.
He was criticized in 2014 when, as attorney general, he filed a lawsuit to stop the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. Religious groups were also opposed to Senate Bill 4, an omnibus, state-based immigration enforcement bill Abbott declared a legislative priority in 2017.
It likely won’t be the last time either. Those on the left who demand open borders are who Democrat candidates like Michael Bloomberg are trying to appeal to now. He claims he’ll control the border but offers amnesty for all those already here. He promises no deportations.
Bloomberg told The News that his immigration policy would control the border, provide a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants here without authorization and recruit immigrants from all over the world.
“We’re not going to deport people,” Bloomberg said of the immigrants in the nation without authorization. “It would be more than an outrage. Even Donald Trump is not going to do that.”
That kind of statement will outrage law-abiding immigrants and citizens alike. If he makes it to a debate stage, let’s see if he has the cojones to utter that kind of virtue-signaling nonsense.