Republican Greg Abbott wastes no time in making Texas first state to ban refugees after Trump executive order
Greg Abbott speaking at FreePac, hosted by FreedomWorks, in Phoenix, Arizona (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

The Lone Star state's motto is "friendship," but Republicans there want to be left alone – at least when it comes to refugees.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has wasted no time in making the nation's second-largest state the first to ban refugees from settling anywhere within its massive 268,000 square mile boundaries. (Only Alaska is bigger.)

Abbott, who is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, is taking advantage of a Trump executive order that purports to allow states to refuse refugees the right to resettle. The Trump administration effectively lowered the number of refugees entering the country in 2019 to 30,000 – a 70 percent drop from Obama-era levels. The White House under the direction of top Trump advisor Stephen Miller, a white nationalist, is working to make that number even lower.

A federal judge this week "voiced skepticism," The Wall Street Journal reports, if Trump's executive order is legal.

PBS Newshour adds that governors in 42 states across the nation signaled they are willing to accept refugees.