Earlier this week, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson defended his decision to continue resettling refugees despite criticism from several GOP lawmakers.
Instead, the Republican governor called on lawmakers to stop creating “fear” about the decision to allow vetted refugees to relocate to areas in northwest Arkansas as part of the Trump Administration’s refugee resettlement program.
“A refugee coming to America is not an illegal entry,” the Arkansas Governor clarified in his opening statement. “This was an executive branch decision that I was called upon to make.”
Hutchinson informed the legislative committee that fewer than 50 refugees will be resettled in Washington County if the White House decided to request it. Ultimately, it was the timing of the announcement — two days before Christmas — that concerned Trump supporters in the state.
“During the Christmas holidays, I literally received dozens if not hundreds of calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages,” said State Senator Trent Garner who joined Committee Chair State Senator Gary Stubblefield in reaching out to the governor on Monday, January 13, 2019.
“While I appreciate the governor coming and I think he answered some of the questions I think he added more questions than what we had,” Garner stated.
Arkansas is among 42 states that have indicated they will continue to accept refugees after the Trump administration issued an executive order that granted state and local governments the authority to reject refugees.
This local component is what prompted Garner to pull back his criticism of the governor and instead focus on city and county officials.
“If you have an opinion about the resettlement of refugees in your area, call your county officials and your mayors,” he stated. “Let your quorum court and city council members know.”
In a role reversal, Democratic-leaning figures praised the Governor’s comments while conservative supporters congratulated Garner and Stubblefield and their blunt questioning of Hutchinson.
“Each of you are leaders in your community,” the governor declared. “You’ve got a choice to make. You can create fear or you can help resolve fear.”
“We are glad the governor helped dispel some of the myths out there,” said Emily Crane Linn, a member of Canopy Northwest Arkansas, a non-profit that helps re-settle refugees upon arrival. “They come here with the American Dream alive and well and burning in their hearts.”
Other mass migration enthusiasts praised the governor at a news conference following his comments, disputing claims from mass migration skeptics that refugees strain state and federal resources.
“He feels very comfortable and confident in recognizing refugees to this state,” stated Reverend Clint Schnekloth, a pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fayetteville. “He also shows that they bring a large net benefit.”
The governor revealed that the Washington County judge and the mayors of Fayetteville and Springdale have accepted refugee resettlement programs.
This local approval process has seen federal litigation levied against it across the country. Mass migration advocates argue that the local component gives municipalities a “veto” over a federal program.
The governor said the Washington County judge and the mayors of Fayetteville and Springdale have agreed to accept refugees. That local approval process is the subject of federal lawsuits in other parts of the country. Advocates for refugees say the local resettlement gives local officials a “veto” over a federal program.
Tennessee Senator Sends Letter to NBA Asking Why the League Bends Over to the Han Supremacist State of China
On June 30, 2020, Tennessee Senator sent the NBA a letter listing some of the heinous acts of genocide that the Chinese government is committing against ethnic minorities.
In the same letter, Blackburn raised questions about the NBA’s relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.
The Senator complimented the safety measures the NBA implemented by suspending their season, but then proceeded to ask the NBA some incisive questions.
“Your league’s business interests are closely intertwined with Communist China’s estimated $4 billion NBA market,” Blackburn stated in the letter. “While the NBA has worked hard to raise awareness of social issues at home, there is concern that the league has turned a blind eye to human rights abuses committed abroad — even bowing down to pressure last year.”
The Tennessee senator finished off her letter by asking three specific questions that she wanted the NBA to address.
Sports Illustrated reported on Blackburn’s request and obtained a copy of the letter:
As the league reconvenes, further details on its relationship with China are imperative. Please provide a written response to the below inquiries by July 21, 2020.
What are the anticipated financial consequences of China Central Television’s (CCTV) continued ban on the airing of NBA games?
Please continue the scope of the NBA’s relationship with Chinese state-owned enterprise Alibaba.
The NBA reportedly continues to operate a training center Xinjiang, one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones. What steps is the NBA taking to shutter this location?
Blackburn cited the case of Xinjiang, where Uyghur Muslims and “ethnic Kazakhs” are being thrown into concentration camps for “free hospital treatment for the masses with sick thinking.”
Although China has made some changes in the 1980s. it still maintains many vestiges of oriental despotic past and is not on the same wavelength as the West.
American policymakers need to rethink trade relations with China, along with migration polices as well. Astute realpolitik with countries surrounding it (both Koreas, Russia, Japan, and India) can keep in check and prevent it from expanding at will.
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