Governor Greg Abbott

ID: LSG-2015-TX-0008

Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711
Sent via: Mail
November 19th, 2015
Re: Refusal to accept Syrian refugees into the State of Texas
Governor Greg Abbott,
My name is Isaiah X. Smith and I am sending you this letter for the purpose of discussing your refusal to
allow the State of Texas to accept Syrian Refugees entering the United States. I urge you to read this
letter to respond appropriately to this letter.
I.

General Information and facts
The government of the Syrian Arabic Republic has turned barbaric against their own people
under the authority of President Bashar al-Assad. His government has been accused of
torture, shooting protestors, crimes against humanity, using chemicals weapons against
civilians and for being involved in other serious violations without respect to the “domestic”
constitutional and the “international” rights of individuals in Syria.
A couple of years ago I sent a letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in
which I have requested her to open an investigation “proprio motu” into the alleged crimes
that President Bashar al-Assad has been accused of being involved in. My complaint was
denied due to that country not being a party to the Rome Statute and due to the fact that
the United Nations Security Council has not made a recommendation for an investigation to
occur through the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Terrorist groups and extremist groups are on the rise in Syria. For instance, the “Daesh”
terrorist group has been targeting innocent Syrian citizens and they have been committing
extreme crimes against people in Syria and around the world. Due to the extreme conflict
that is going on in that country, there are a lot of Syrians who are fleeing their country to try
their best to get refugee status in other safe countries. A lot of Syrians have died with
regards to trying to escape their country and a lot of them are being met with a lot of
hostility from foreign countries. The “Daesh” terrorist group wants countries to deny
citizenship to Syrian citizens because they want to use that as a recruitment tool for Syrian
citizens. They want Syrian citizens to feel rejected in progressive countries and then to have
them join their terrorist network due to deliberate indifference from countries that should
have acted to save them.
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Recent terrorist attacks in France and hostility being shown towards Syrian citizens
Recently the “Daesh” terrorist group has claimed responsibility for attacking people in Paris,
France which has took the lives of over one-hundred people. The cowardly attacks have
killed innocent children, French citizens and visitors in France. The attacks have also created
hostility towards Syrian citizens who are trying to get access to others countries for the
purpose of escaping the violence that is currently occurring in their “home” country.
On November 16th, 2015 you have sent a letter in your official capacity to President Barack
H. Obama in which you have stated that the State of Texas does not welcome Syrian
refugees into the State of Texas and that you will block the president’s resettlement plan.
You claim in your letter that a Syrian refugee has been linked to the Paris, France attacks
and that American humanitarian compassion could be exploited to put Americans in danger.
I do not agree with you and I am going to explain to you why I disagree with your arguments
as shown below.
Statics on refugees being arrested on domestic terrorism charges since September 11,
2001
According to the Economist, out of 750,000 refugees that have already been taken in the
United States, none have been arrested on “domestic” terrorism charges. Also according to
the Migration Policy Institute, the only refugees that have been arrested under domestic
terrorism charges were three refugees (a pair of Iraqi refugees in Kentucky and one other
Uzbek refugee). Making the argument that denying access for Syrian refugees into the State
of Texas is the best option because of the threat of terrorism is an asinine argument. Given
the behavior of “already” accepted refugees in this country, it is very asinine to argue that
accepting refugees into the United States of America poses a great security concern.
Looking at shootings, domestic terrorism incidents and crimes that have occurred in the
United States, those crimes have been committed by a large amount of “domestic” citizens
of the United States. It is nonfactual to claim that Syrian refugees will be coming in the
United States to promote violence against American citizens, especially when looking as to
the current data on “domestic” terrorism incidents that have involved refugees in the
United States of America. Oh and let us remember that in the 1900s approximately 169,000
Bosnian Muslim refugees fleeing a similar warzone in Syria were accepted into the United
States back then. Not one of those accepted refugees were charged with terrorism to this
day.
Screening process for individuals that want to claim a refugee status in the United States
of America
Typically it the application process for refugees regardless of their nationality takes
anywhere from 10-24 months. The review of each applicant is carefully considered by the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, and a
various number of different intelligence agencies. “Domestic” intelligence agencies check
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the “biometric data” of the applicants as well as other information about the applicants. The
process if very complicated and a very thorough background check is conducted. So the
United States of America will not be allowing “anyone” to come into the country. They will
allow individuals who have passed “security” clearances and investigations to be permitted
to come into the United States. The government of the United States will not and is not
being negligent with respect to making sure that terrorists are prevented from entering the
country.
II.

Some states refusal to accept the Syrian refugees currently looks just like the refusal to
accept European Jewish personages in the 1930s
During the 1930s there were many Jewish individuals who were being killed by Adolf Hitler
and the Nazis in Europe. In the lead up to the Holocaust and World War II it was proposed
by some political figures in the United States of America to accept over 10,000 Jews
escaping the Nazis in Europe to come into the United States as a refugee. Despite the
proposal a lot of polls have showed that Americans back then were mostly against the
refugee resettlement plans, as were a lot of American politicians.
The United States of America around 1944s decided to accept Jewish refugees into the
United States for the purpose of helping them escape Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. By then
millions of Jewish individuals have already died from the conflict. That could have been
prevented if American political figures worked together for the purpose of accepting
individuals into the United States that were trying to escape a massive genocide that was
taking place. Deliberate indifference was mostly occurring in the United States of America
due to our initial hostility to accept individuals who were trying to save themselves and their
families from the brutal crimes that were committed by the Nazis through Adolf Hitler back
in the day.

III.

The President of the United States has authority to accept refugees into the United States
of America
It is perfectly legal for the President of the United States of America to accept refugees into
the country. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the President of the United States has the
authority to allow refugees who face “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on
account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political
opinion” into the United States. Specifically the President of the United States has the
authority to do so if his administration determines that an “unforeseen emergency refugee
situation” such as the Syrian refugee crisis exists.
The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled in Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U.S. 52 (1941)
that the “the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs,
including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the
Constitution.” States do not get to overrule the federal government on matters such as
refugee resettlement plans. Even when look at Arizona v. United States, 567 U.S. ___
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(2012), the Supreme Court ruled that a state may not implement its own immigration rules
that are contrary to the federal government’s policy.
IV.

Conclusion
The President of the United States of America has the authority to accept refugees into the
United States. It is extremely well know that the acceptance of refugees into the United
States of America is a federal issue and not a state by state issue. As shown in the
aforementioned court cases listed above and pursuant to the Refugee Act of 1980, the
authority to make “refugee settlement policies” is a federal issue and a state cannot create
its own refugee resettlement plan in contradictory with the federal government’s plan.
Please remember that we are the United States. Not the separate sovereign states of
America.
In conclusion I am going to specifically ask you Governor Greg Abbot to do not refuse to
accept the Syrian refugees into the State of Texas under President Barack Obama’s refugee
resettlement program. Refusing to accept individuals who are trying to escape serious
human rights violations that are occurring is absolutely disgusting, deliberate indifference
and unconstitutional. The United States of America is better than that and now is the time
for officials to be in compliance with the lawful actions of the President of the United States
and to stop trying to create fear in people based on nonfactual assertions by linking all of
the Syrian refugees to terrorism. Please be on the right side of history and do not repeat
history that we as a country were involved in regarding the 1930s acceptance of the Jews
fleeing from Europe to escape persecution from Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Please keep in mind that all information listed in this letter is true and correct to the best of
my knowledge. This letter is not legal advice and is not intended to be legal advice. However
this letter is intended to be viewed as research as to this particular very important affair.

V.

Acknowledgement letter
An acknowledgement letter would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me via electronic
mail at: iscampaign@usa.com. You can send me a letter by mail at the following mailing
address:
Isaiah Smith Campaign
P.O Box 163411
Fort Worth, Texas, 76161

Respectfully,
Isaiah X. Smith

Isaiah Smith Campaign
P.O Box 163411
Fort Worth, Texas, 76161
www.isaiahxsmith.com

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TEXAS GOVERNOR’S OFFICE RESPONSE