Gov. Asa Hutchinson: Syrian refugees unwelcome in Arkansas | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 16, 2015

Gov. Asa Hutchinson: Syrian refugees unwelcome in Arkansas

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 10:05 AM

click to enlarge GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON
  • GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON
Here's a statement from Gov. Asa Hutchinson in response to my question on Syrian refugees in Arkansas:

"As Governor I will oppose Syrian refugees being relocated to Arkansas."

By contrast from Twitter:

Obama: We must continue to accept refugees

More on that from CNN:

Speaking at the G20 summit in Turkey, Obama called on world leaders to accept refugees, saying that "many of these refugees are victims of terrorism themselves." However, he said accepting refugees requires "rigorous screening and security checks."

UPDATE: Hutchinson subsequently issued a somewhat longer statement:
'
“As governor, I oppose any facility or installation in Arkansas being used as a Syrian refugee center. Many of the Syrian refugees are fleeing violence in their own country but Europe, Asia or Africa are logically the best places for resettlement or for temporary asylum. Syria is a war torn country and the United States will support our European friends in fighting ISIL in Syria and elsewhere; however, this is not the right strategy for the United States to become a permanent place of relocation. Again, I will oppose Arkansas being used as such a relocation center.

“The hardships facing these refugees and their families are beyond most of our understanding, and my thoughts and prayers are with them, but I will not support a policy that is not the best solution and that poses risk to Arkansans"

Note that opposition to facility or installation is not exactly the same thing as opposing relocation of refugees. Which is it? I've asked.

PS — Yes even the national press is recalling Cubans, Fort Chaffee, Clinton and Carter in writing about growing GOP gubernatorial opposition to refugees. Jeb Bush has gone so far as to suggest a religious test — accept only Christians. Obama fired back:

“When I hear folks say that maybe we should just admit the Christians and not the Muslims, when I hear political leaders, saying there would be a religious test for which a person feeling from a war-torn country is admitted, when some of those folk themselves come from families of people who fled political persecution—that’s shameful. That’s not American. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” Obama said, pointedly praising Jeb Bush’s brother George W. Bush for inclusiveness toward Muslims.

PPS — There is a question whether governors can legally block refugees from their states.

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