Despite Lawsuit, Syrian Refugees Arrive in Texas

Texas alters strategy against resettlement agency
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2015 3:50 PM CST
On Nov. 29, 2015, Syrian refugee Bashar al Jaddou, second from right, poses with his wife Maryam and their children Maria, left, Hasan, center, and Mohammad at their apartment in Dallas.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – Hide your husbands, hide your wives: A family of six Syrian refugees is arriving in Dallas today as Texas shifts its legal strategy against refugee resettlement, the Dallas Morning News reports. The family—which includes two small children and has a relative in Dallas—came over with a relief agency called the International Rescue Committee. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission filed a lawsuit against the IRC last week to block refugees over security concerns, but a Dallas federal judge refused to make an immediate decision. Now 21 refugees are expected to arrive in Texas this week and the state commission has withdrawn its temporary restraining order, but still seeks a hearing about a permanent injunction by Dec. 9.

Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton filed a new complaint Monday saying national intelligence officials have "recently expressed concern with the federal government’s ability to accurately assess the security risk posed by Syrian refugees." Paxton also says the state has only "minimal information" about nine refugees. But former Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff today disagreed, saying refugees are vetted overseas and databases are checked when possible. "Nothing is risk free in this world, but we have done an awful lot to keep these systems very, very secure," he says. Meanwhile, donations are pouring in for the new Syrian refugees, WFAA reports. And eight Syrians said to be Christian have turned themselves in to officials at the US-Mexico border, the AP reports. (Read more Syrian refugees stories.)

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