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.”

Under a new Trump administration requirement, state and local elected officials must consent in writing before refugees can be resettled. By saying Texas won’t participate, Abbott effectively overrode recent letters by leaders of Dallas and other major Texas cities opting in.

He also made Texas the first state to decline resettlement under President Donald Trump’s executive order creating state and local vetoes.

In his letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Abbott stressed his action does not “preclude a refugee from later coming to Texas after initially settling in another state.”