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Abbott had previously withdrawn Texas from the national refugee resettlement program and sued for the right to block Syrian refugees from settling in the state, the Texas Tribune reports.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

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

1 hour ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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