Arkansas Immigration

U.S. Senator John Boozman in the Republican Party of Arkansas headquarters in 2016 during a campaign interview.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Arkansas’s senior U.S. Senator John Boozman is calling for a stop to the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy to separate children from their parents at the border. Boozman was one of 13 Republican Senators on Tuesday to sign a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying immigration policy must be consistent with "ordinary human decency" and putting the blame for the "immediate cause of the crisis" on the Attorney General’s new policy.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) at a committee hearing March 6, 2018.
C-SPAN

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., says some of the immigrant children who are being separated from the adults they are entering the country with at the border with Mexico are not actually related.

Speaking Tuesday on the nationally-syndicated radio program The Hugh Hewitt Show, Cotton was skeptical that many of the 2,000-plus children separated from their parents since April are relatives.

U.S. Rep. French Hill speaking at a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee on March 22, 2016.
C-SPAN

U.S. Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.) says current immigration law justifies the Trump administration's decision to implement a zero tolerance policy that separates children from their parents if they illegally cross the border with Mexico. However, Hill says he does not support children being separated from their families and is urging Congress to pass legislation to fix the problem, while putting the blame on past presidential administrations for the creation of the law.

Arkansas’s attorney general spoke Friday at one of the nation’s most prominent gatherings of conservatives. CPAC, or the Conservative Political Action Conference, describes itself as the “birthplace of modern conservatism.” Ronald Regan was its inaugural keynote speaker in 1974.

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Children of immigrant families fare worse in Arkansas than those in most other states, according to a report released Tuesday.

The “Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children” report says 69 percent of Arkansas’s children who are either immigrants themselves or have at least one parent born outside of the country are growing up in low-income families. Rich Huddleston, Executive Director of Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families said he hopes this data will inspire policy changes.

Tom Cotton
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Some of Arkansas’s top elected officials – all Republicans – are generally supportive of President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program in six months barring Congressional action. Meanwhile the state’s Democrats are offering a full rebuke and condemning attempts to use DACA beneficiaries as a political football for broader immigration policy changes.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Supporters of a program that allows undocumented children to stay in the U.S. are urging Arkansas’s Attorney General to change her position on the issue.

A large group of supporters and recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program crowded into the Little Rock office of Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Tuesday. They met with Carl Vogelpohl, Rutledge’s Chief of Staff, and presented him with a petition organized by the Arkansas United Community Coalition.

RAISE Act Senator Tom Cotton
Getty Images / NPR

President Donald Trump was joined by U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., at a White House news conference on Wednesday to tout an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system. Republican Georgia Sen. David Perdue also will co-sponsor the bill.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Since November, Mexican consulates around the U.S. have reported an increase in unauthorized immigrants venturing in to seek legal advice and update their citizenship papers in case of possible deportation. 

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