Arkansas Governor is Under Fire for Trying to Turn His State into a Third World Hellhole
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.