Texas’ heart, ability to help are bigger than Gov. Abbott’s decision to bar refugees

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from Fort Worth Star Telegram,

Michael Olson, Bishop of Fort Worth criticizes Governor’s decision.

Gov. Greg Abbott, one of the state’s proudest cheerleaders, has found yet another way for Texas to be first in the nation.

But not a good one. Abbott informed the U.S. State Department on Friday that Texas will opt out of accepting international refugees this year, becoming the first governor known to reject resettlement.

More than 40 other states have already consented to taking in refugees, and mayors in Fort Worth and other large cities have said they want to continue to welcome those in need.

In a written statement lamenting Abbott’s decision, Fort Worth Catholic Diocese Bishop Michael Olson noted that the governor’s action could ultimately cost social-service groups that work with refugees anyway. When refugees that start in other states eventually move to Texas, groups such as Catholic Charities Fort Worth will have to make up for lost federal funds, he said.

“The responsible assistance of refugees with collaborative oversight between the government and Catholic Charities contributes to the common good and helps to prevent poverty and crime,” Olson said.

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