Cruz proposes bill allowing states to reject refugees

State Refugee Security Act would amend Immigration and Nationality Act

WASHINGTON – Gov. Greg Abbott and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz announced a bill Tuesday that would give any state the right to reject a refugee for security concerns.

The bill would require the federal government to give 21 days notice to any state receiving a refugee. It would also allow the governor of a state to reject any refugee without "adequate assurance" that the refugee doesn't present a security risk.

"This legislation will protect the authority of the states and the authority of the governors to keep their citizens safe, Cruz said. "It is my hope that Congress will take up and pass into law the legislation that I introduced today that gives the governors the ability to opt out if the federal government is not sufficiently vetting refugees."

Speaking at a news conference with Cruz, Abbott said Tuesday that he and other governors needed more tools to fight the federal refugee resettlement process.

Abbott said he wants to ensure Syrian refugees "who could pose a danger to the people of the state of Texas" will not be allowed in.

The announcement comes one day after a family of six Syrian refugees arrived in Texas to resettle.