Governor Hutchinson released a typically circumspect statement on the federal Department of Health and Human Services considering the Little Rock Air Force Base and unused federal property in Desha County (near the site of the Rohwer internment camp) to 40/29 to house immigrant families, though he did say that he was against Arkansas housing children separated from their parents.
“The decision to use a military installation or other federal property for housing immigrant families is a decision made in Washington and not in Little Rock. Any costs would be borne by the federal government and beyond that there is very little information on what plans are being considered.
As to locations, the only sites that I understand are under review are the LRAFB and unused federal land in South Arkansas. It is up to DHHS to answer questions about potential sites. I am opposed to the use of any Arkansas facility that would be for children who are separated from their parents.”
His challenger, Democrat Jared Henderson said Hutchinson should be more outspoken in standing up to the Trump administration’s “heinous policy”:
“Arkansans have made it clear they want no part in this administration’s heinous policy that separates families at the border. There is not yet a path forward to reuniting children with their families, and now Arkansas’s leaders are standing by as the federal government works to keep those children minutes from where Arkansas’s Japanese-American internment camps once were. I cannot stay silent as our history repeats itself, and I hope our governor cannot either.
“Our state is enabling a scary path, one that will go down as a shameful point in our history. Arkansas has many things to be proud of, and I know we are better than allowing this to happen. I implore our leaders to stand up to these inhumane practices and instead look towards reuniting these children with their families.”