About 15 protesters met in the parking lot outside the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock on Friday to rally for stricter immigration laws in Arkansas and protest the increase of migrant children from Central America crossing the United States border with Mexico.
Kenny Wallis of Keep Arkansas Legal said he hopes the state will pass a self-deportation law like the one in Alabama, which would allow law enforcement officers to stop individuals they believe are undocumented.
“The illegal alien surge is hurting this country, it’s hurting this state. The United States of America has been the most compassionate country on earth when it comes to immigration, when it comes to asylum, when it comes to helping other countries. And yet these third world countries continue to neglect their poor, dump them on us, indoctrinate them into coming over here at our expense and at their expense,” said Wallis.
"We have to return them back. They have to go back the way they came. We know that when self-deportation laws are passed children of illegal aliens simply go back with their families,” he added about the children. Around 10 counter protesters stood feet away, shouting at their opponents and holding protest signs. Samantha Susita brought her young son Franc to the consulate to advocate for immigrant rights.
“When kids are in the picture it’s wrong. It’s wrong with adults but its evil when it comes to kids. How can we say go back to a country you’re going to die at? That’s why America is the land of the free, America is the land of the brave. What’s brave about sending children back to die?” she asked.
“I’m a Republican that’s sad to be a Republican now. I believe in the bible, I have my kids in private school. I believe in the church being at the forefront, I believe in a country that doesn’t have so many taxes it’s putting you underneath. I’m Republican and I’m proud to be a Republican. At the same time, look where my party’s going,” said Susita, who added her mother was an immigrant from Venezuela.
More than 57,000 children have crossed the border since October. Many have been detained.