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Arkansas Illegal Immigrant Benefits Ban Amendment (2012)

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The Arkansas Illegal Immigrant Benefits Ban Amendment may appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Arkansas as an initiated constitutional amendment. The measure, being spearheaded by the group Secure Arkansas, is currently gathering signatures for the fall ballot. If the measure is sent to the ballot, it would ban most illegal immigrants from receiving benefits given by the state. According to supporters, the ban would not extend to children under 14 years of age and illegal immigrants could still receive emergency care.[1]

Support

Arguments

  • Secure Arkansas, the group circulating the petition, is claiming that illegal immigrants are draining state coffers.
  • According to Jeannie Burlsworth, chairman of Secure Arkansas, "When we have to educate and feed and do the health care with the illegals, it’s overwhelming to the taxpayer. Finally, the taxpayer can’t give any more."

Opposition

Opponents

  • The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Arkansas Chapter

Arguments

  • According to LULAC, any action on the illegal immigration issue should be a national matter. Spokesman Michel Leidermann referred to the immigration bill signed into law in Arizona, stating, "The solution to immigration has to be on a national level and cannot be state by state. The only thing they’re forcing with that is that Latinos in Arizona will emigrate to other states, so we don’t solve anything with that.”

Path to the ballot

A majority vote is required in both chambers of the Arkansas State Legislature to refer a measure to the ballot. (See Section 22, Article 19, Arkansas Constitution.)

See also

References

  1. NWA Online, "Secure Arkansas Seeks Signatures For Petition", April 19, 2010