NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, Ark. (KNWA) — There are concerns over safety and job security after Governor Asa Hutchinson announced his plans to accept new refugees in the state.
Governor Hutchinson made a decision to continue to accept refugees in Arkansas after the Trump Administration gave states the option to accept them or not.
We posted about it on facebook and got hundreds of comments from people who feel our state should opt out.
Dozens of refugees now call Northwest Arkansas home. Mayor Doug Sprouse has been welcoming them to Springdale. ”This is a situation where we are dealing with people who are going through the legal process, they are well vetted. I just feel like it is the right thing to do.”
Now, Arkansas will continue to accept more. Arkansas is one of 42 states that decided to continue with the refugee admission program. Governor Hutchinson said “Arkansas is a welcoming state, wherever they come from we benefit from their energy, their devotion to freedom and we want them to be part of the fabric, our nation our future and our state.”
Not everyone agrees. Over 200 people voiced their concerns on our social media page. One of the biggest worries is losing jobs to refugees. Sprouse said our economy is strong and that is not going to happen. ”We have employers in almost every sector trying to hire people to work. There are are no new residents who will take a job from somebody from Springdale.”
Others worry that refugees are using too many state resources. ”I don’t think that is a reason or justifies turning your back on those that need help and there is a way to help. There is already a program in place and nonprofits that are already working to help these folks.
Governor Hutchinson agreed, saying 98-percent of refugees in Arkansas have become self sufficient between 90 to 180 days of arrival.
“As long as they are trying to be productive members of our community and working and doing things legally here then we will welcome them here,” said,” Sprouse.
About 50 refugees will be resettled in Washington County.