Gov. Hutchinson Opposes Syrian Refugees In Arkansas

Nov 16, 2015

File photo of Gov. Asa Hutchinson from January.
Credit Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has added his voice to a growing list of state leaders speaking out on the issue of taking in refugees from Syria who are trying to escape war in their country.

After making a comment about it on twitter Monday, Hutchinson released a full 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. 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.

In September, Gov. Hutchinson told Channel 7 News he was hesitant about accepting Syrian refugees and would first require background checks.

However, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola released this statement to KATV:

I have not added my name to any social media statement urging Little Rock to accept Syrian refugees. I, along with hundreds of other mayors throughout the country, have urged Congress to take action on immigration reform. Such reform will achieve a stronger, safer, and more prosperous country for all who wish to be here. Congress needs to take action now.

Several U.S. governors have either opposed taking in any Syrian refugees being relocated as part of a national program or have asked that they be scrutinized as potential security threats.