States do have the ability to impact the federal government’s refugee resettlement program. As was widely reported last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has officially told the national Office of Refugee Resettlement that if certain conditions aren’t met, the state will be withdrawing from the federal resettlement program. Of course, the New York Times quickly downplayed the impact of Texas withdrawing from the program. But the practical realities look different. The state provides vital logistic medical and social service assistance. Texas manages $96 million in federal funds for services provided to refugees. And last year alone it resettled some seven thousand refugees. Several non-profits such as the International Rescue Committee, and a handful of faith- affiliated agencies assist the state in its efforts. But, if Texas pulls out, private agencies will have to carry the full load; quite a tall order in such a large state. In other words, the federal government depends on significant state action to resettle refugees. Without state administration of the federal program, it will become much more difficult to successfully resettle refugees. Even Ian Millhiser of the rabidly pro-federal ThinkProgress agrees, He said such policies would “potentially make settlement of refugees more difficult than it would be if the States cooperated.” The bottom line is this. While resettlement is a federal policy the feds generally depend on the States to implement it. Lack of assistance by Texas will almost certainly reduce resettlement in that state. And if other States follow suit, it will be extremely difficult for the federal program to continue as-is.