Media Contact

CONTACT: Anna Nuñez, ACLU of Texas,, (713) 325-7010

November 16, 2015

HOUSTON — Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees into the state after Friday's terrorist attack in Paris.

The following can be attributed to Terri Burke, Executive Director, ACLU of Texas:

“First, I’m extremely perplexed as to how the Governor plans to close off the entire Texas border. The State has already funneled a needless $800 million to deploy troops to our 1,200-plus mile southern border to stop kids and families fleeing violence in Central America from entering the country. Now he wants to use taxpayer money to close off the rest of the state’s thousands of miles of border to Syrian refugees, whether they’re flying from New York or driving from Texarkana? I would like to know just how he plans to do that. It’s truly baffling. Once again, Texas is the laughing stock of the nation.

"But the bottom line is, refugee admission is a federal matter, reflecting our values as a nation. Texas and other states don’t have veto power in this area. That’s why it would violate the Constitution for a governor to bar an entire group of refugees from coming into their state because of their nationality. Refugees who are fleeing the horror and violence of places from Central America to Syria, as well as the integrity of our refugee resettlement system, should not fall victim to horrible attacks perpetrated by a few individuals.”