The U.S. Refugee Act of 1980 allows the federal government to designate an entity other than state governments to serve as state refugee coordinators and disburse funding—a set-up in place in six states but not Texas, said Lavinia Limón, president & CEO of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants. But she added that governors and lawmakers were doing little for refugee relations as nonprofits work to place refugees in welcoming communities that will help them become self-sufficient and recover from the war-torn conditions they escaped.
“People are refugees because they are persecuted on the basis of race, religion membership in an ethnic group, nationality,” Limón said. “So to imagine getting admitted to the United States as refugees and then an elected official discriminates against you based on your nationality and ethnicity is pretty amazing.”