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.
Airbnb CEO Says Wuhan Virus Will Fundamentally Transform Domestic Travel
Post-pandemic America will not look the same.
Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, said to Reuters on January 14, 2021 that domestic travel patterns will not revert to pre-Wuhan virus pandemic standards.
In a Zoom call with Jonathan Weber, the global technology editor for Reuters, Chesky said that business travel will move towards leisure travel due to the fact that software like Zoom facilitates teleconferencing at unprecedented rates.
Furthermore, Chesky speculates that people won’t be visiting America’s largest cities as much as before, nor will they stay at crowded hotels. Instead, he believes that “many people will travel by car – some will travel by plane – and they’re going to travel to thousands of smaller communities. And many of these communities are going to be smaller cities and or even rural areas.”
Additionally, the Airbnb CEO notes that “farm stays are huge right now” and that national parks travel will become a major trend among travelers in the upcoming months. The latter will grow, in Chesky’s view, because most Americans have not visited such parks.
According to an Airbnb survey, 54% of Americans have plans of traveling in 2021 or they’re in the process of planning out their trips for the summer. Chesky asserted that travelers are “yearning for what was taken away from them.” He added, “they’re not yearning to see Times Square. What they are yearning to do is to see their friends and their families they have not seen in a long time.”
Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge raised an interesting point about this change in Americans’ travel patterns:
If Chesky is right about the significant travel shift, the hotel industry could be slated for a massive wave of bankruptcies and or consolidation to a degree never before seen.
Regardless, Americans are getting tired of the Wuhan virus lockdowns. Millions of Americans have had their freedoms infringed upon thanks to politicians who want to exploit a generalized crisis for their own gain.
If Republicans were smart, they would be unapologetically campaigning for their states to be reopened. Americans want to go back to their normal lives and engage in activities such as travel, which the political class has deprived them of.
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