AUSTIN, Texas— Just two blocks from the Texas Capitol, hundreds gathered at Wooldridge Park on Sunday to protest a decision by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to reject Syrian refugees fleeing war.
Young adults, parents, and children gathered in solidarity with one request: welcome refugees.
Organizers took the stage to talk about the war-torn country and explain the rigorous refugee application process Syrians—along with other refugee-seekers—go through before resettling in the United States.
The protest comes after a Nov. 16 announcement by Gov. Abbott, who wrote in an open letter to President Obama that the state would not welcome Syrian refugees, claiming welcoming Syrians poses a terrorism threat in the Lone Star State. The governor’s actions followed the Nov. 13 Paris attacks.
Gov. Abbott joined 30 other state governors in the rejection movement— although, constitutionally, their requests are far from doable.
The U.S. has only accepted 2,200 Syrian refugees since their civil war broke out in 2011—a number incredibly low in comparison to European countries welcoming hundreds of thousands.
In Austin, supporters hope that this nation, too, will step up to help with the humanitarian crisis.