Texas Wants to Conduct Its Own Background Checks on Refugees

The Attorney General says the state can do its own background checks on refugees – which could pose some problems since resettlement is done under the federal government.

By Rhonda FanningMay 18, 2016 9:07 am, ,

Audio will be available shortly.

Texas leaders made a lot of noise last year about refusing to open up to Syrian refugees. But their protests and lawsuits were dismissed and dozens of refugees have continued to settle in to new lives as Texans. Still some state leaders have expressed concern for public safety. Now Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the state can conduct its own background checks on incoming refugees.

Mike Ward, the Houston Chronicle’s Austin Bureau chief, says the state contended that the federal government’s background checks weren’t thorough.

“The whole issue with a lot of these refugees, particularly the ones coming out of the Middle East… there’s nothing to background,” he says. “There’s no records that are available.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Which city in Texas gets the most refugees and how many have been resettled in the past six months

– What Attorney General Ken Paxton’s opinion says related to federal refugee resettlement programs

– How refugee programs and state agencies are reacting to this battle between the state and the federal government