Mayor's Office Press Release

Mayor's Statement on Texas Governor's Rejection of New Refugees

January 10, 2020 -- Statement by Mayor Sylvester Turner:

“Today I am reminded of Pope Francis’ 2019 message on the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees: ‘Dear brothers and sisters, our response to the challenges posed by contemporary migration can be summed up in four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate.’

“Governors of 37 states had already submitted letters of consent to accept refugees – people displaced by war, famine, oppression --  before today. Another three indicate they have sent their ‘yes’ letters to Washington. That is 80 percent of all governors. They are Republican and Democratic governors joining in a rare moment of bipartisanship on an immigration-related issue.

“I agree with this overwhelming majority of governors. Their values are as old as the scriptures and as clear as our consciences should be.

“Regardless of where someone is from, who they are, or what they believe, there is a home for them in Houston. Our welcoming spirit has led to our city becoming the national leader in refugee resettlement.

“We remember Exodus 22:21, ‘Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner; remember that you were foreigners in Egypt.’

“I deeply regret Gov. Abbott’s opposite decision and would respectfully ask him to reconsider."