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Expand chart
Reproduced from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service; Cartogram: Axios Visuals

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is the only Republican governor so far to stop accepting refugees following President Trump’s executive order that allows state and local governments to block refugee resettlements.

The big picture: While Republicans widely support Trump’s restrictive immigration policies, local and state officials in many states have been unwilling to push out those who have been forced from their homes and gone through stringent vetting processes required to become a U.S. refugee.

  • Presidents have previously tried to uplift refugee resettlement programs with “bipartisan pride,” and to generate goodwill domestically and internationally, the Washington Post writes.
  • Trump has already capped the number of refugees the U.S. will accept at a historic low of just 18,000 from a high of 110,000 in 2016.

What’s happening: Republican governors of Tennessee, South Dakota, Oklahoma and Nebraska along with others have written letters to the U.S. State Department or publicly announced they will continue accepting refugee resettlements, representing some of the reddest states in the country.

  • They join more than two dozen other states that plan to continue taking refugees, according to Axios' compilation of news reports, press releases and public statements.
  • Not all states have released their decisions.

Abbott had previously withdrawn Texas from the national refugee resettlement program and sued for the right to block Syrian refugees from settling in the state, the Texas Tribune reports.

Both Tennessee and North Dakota have also sued for the right to refuse refugee settlements, but have now both said they plan to continue accepting refugees.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

5 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

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