Republican family opens home to Muslims seeking refuge

Republican family opens home to Muslim refugees
Republican family opens home to Muslim refugees

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Republican family opens home to Muslim refugees 02:43

(CNN)On a day which will see 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges hear arguments for and against President Donald Trump's travel ban, one man in Virginia talked about a personal ruling he made years ago.

Rich McKinless, a card-carrying Republican who voted for neither Hillary nor Bill Clinton, nor Barack Obama, has made a habit of opening his doors to those in need of shelter. And, of late, that group often has included Muslim refugees.
"We're blessed to have four children, so once they started leaving the home, we had lots of space to take in anyone who might need space," the Northern Virginia resident told Brooke Baldwin on Tuesday.
McKinless's daughter -- Ashley, an associate editor at America: The Jesuit Review -- has been so inspired by her family's efforts she penned a piece for her outlet, lauding her mom and dad's mission.
    "My parents are no bleeding-heart liberals. You will not find them protesting at Dulles (airport)," she wrote. "But they are Christians, and they love the United States."
    Also joining Baldwin on "CNN Newsroom," the younger McKinless offered a glimpse into what she described as an enriched upbringing.
    "I learned welcoming the stranger is not a burden. It's really a joy, an opportunity to learn about people who are different from you and to create lifelong friendships."
    Within his Manassas community, which lies roughly 30 miles west of Washington, D.C., McKinless notes that he's been met with nothing short of support from neighbors and friends alike.
    "Everybody saw it as an opportunity to jump in and welcome new Americans," he said.
    Though the McKinless family has made a practice of hosting those needing refuge for years, it was Ashley's article and video -- published online last week in response to the President's executive order barring travel for people from certain countries -- that shined a light on their own open-door policy.
    Writing about her time living at home, Ashley noted that she could "scarcely remember a time growing up when we did not have a cousin or a friend of a friend or a complete stranger living in the guest room."