Texas Governor Greg Abbott is once again using misinformation to further his agenda of xenophobia in his state. In the wake of the Paris attacks, Abbot has sent President Obama a letter stating that he refuses to allow Syrian refugees into Texas, and urges Obama to disallow Syrians into the United States altogether. His reasoning states that one of the Paris attackers was a Syrian–a fact which has been disproved. As ever, facts do not stand in the way of Abbot’s reasoning.
One of Abbots cronies in this decision, State Representative Tony Dale (R-Cedar Park) is using even more ridiculous reasoning to back up Abbott’s statement. Dale claims that Texas’ lax gun laws would make it too easy for terrorists to buy guns and carry out even more attacks. He argues that refugees are granted “special privileges” by virtue of their hardships. Dale is perhaps unfamiliar with the reality of refugees in the United States; certainly he seems to believe that the first thing that one does when granted asylum is buy a gun, plant a bomb on a plane, and massacre hundreds.
Besides Dale’s concerns about trigger-happy refugees, he is set on introducing legislature to close a supposed loophole in allowing refugees to obtain driver’s licenses. This is not so much a “loophole” as it is “the law.” Refugees are not magically handed driver’s licenses upon touching US soil; they must go through a process more arduous than it takes for, say, a natural-born Texan to buy a gun at a gun show.
Since refugee resettlement is a federal concern and not a state concern, perhaps Abbott and Dale should turn their attention to something that is in their purview. If they’re so concerned about maniacs getting guns, they could do something about lax gun laws in Texas already in place. But that would require crawling out of the pockets of the NRA and their other conservative donors, so it seems unlikely in the near future.
In the meantime, Texas’ state motto of “Friendship” continues to be put to the lie by its leaders.