After Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced on January 10, 2020 that he will not be accepting refugees for resettlement in the state, Catholic organizations were infuriated by his decision.
Abbot’s decision made Texas the first state to reject refugee resettlement after President Donald Trump issued an executive order last year ordering governors to publicly say if they will accept refugees after June 2020.
As of now, governors in 42 states have declared that they wil bring in more refugees. Governors from the five remaining states — Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and South Carolina — have yet to respond by the January 21, 2020.
Texas bishops were disappointed by Abbott’s course of action and urged him to reconsider. In a January 10 statement, the Texas Catholic Conference asserted that the move to “turn away refugees from the great state of Texas” was “deeply discouraging and disheartening.”
The conference claimed it “respects the governor” but declared that Abbott’s decision in this case was “simply misguided” due to how it denied “people who are fleeing persecution, including religious persecution, from being able to bring their gifts and talents to our state and contribute to the general common good of all Texans.”
In a letter he wrote to Pompeo, Abbott stressed the work Texas has done taking in refugees, saying that since fiscal year 2010 “more refugees have been received in Texas than any other state.”
“Texas has carried more than its share in assisting the refugee resettlement process and appreciates that other states are available to help with these efforts,” the letter stated.
Ashley Feasley, the Director of Policy for Migration and Refugee Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told Catholic News Service that Abbott’s decision is a “big deal” because the state has resettled 10% of refugees in the United States during the last decade.
She clarified that the move does not mean that refugees can’t visit the state. It just means they cannot be resettled there.
That decision, she said is troubling. First off, roughly 80% of the refugee cases are described as “follow to join.” In other words, these cases involve individuals who have been vetted, are looking to connect with a family member or friend in the community. Allowing them to resettle with people they already know is something resettlement agencies try to respect, she stated, because it helps with the settlement transition.
She also pointed out how Abbott’s decision, and others to come from remaining state governors who have made a decision on the matter, could be affected by a federal judge’s ruling on Trump’s order expected on January 17, 2020. The judge will be ruling on the lawsuit that three refugee resettlement organizations filed in an attempt to obtain a preliminary injunction to block the executive order.
Abbott, who is also a Catholic, should stand firm and not give in to the pressure that pro-mass migration organizations are placing on him. He should maintain his course as one of the most hardline governors on the issue of immigration.
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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