Immigration
5:36 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Local Non-Profit Opens Office, Helps Immigrants

As an immigration reform bill is expected to be debated and amended in the U.S. Senate this week, a local immigrant advocacy group is settling into its own office for the summer.

El Zócalo Immigrant Resource Center assists families who need to navigate processes like getting proper medical care or other services.  

"Sometimes it's just like a bureacratic process or something in English that they don't understand. Or it can be something  more complicated like a legal or medical issue, then we can help them achieve their outcome that they would need," says Sara Mullally, director of the non-profit.

Mullally says many of people she and her team of volunteers assist are undocumented immigrants. "We're just friendly and [we're] volunteers. It's not really like a bureacratic or anything like a normal organization would be like. It's more just friends helping each other. So people are really encouraged by what we do." 

El Zócalo - meaning 'public square' in Spanish - has also been lobbying for passage of immigration reform by contacting state elected officials. The office is on the grounds of St. Edwards Catholic Church in downtown Little Rock.

At UALR on Thursday, statewide survey numbers were released showing most Arkansans support comprehensive immigration reform including “a tough but fair” path to citizenship and were more likely to support elected officials who also hold that view.