Arkansas Illegal Immigrant Benefits Ban Amendment (2012)

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Arkansas Constitution
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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]



The following are supporters for the proposed measure:[2]


Arguments that have been made in support of the measure are as follows:[2]

  • 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."



The following are opponents of the proposed measure:[2]


Arguments that have been made against the proposed measure are as follows:[2]

  • 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

Petition organizers must collect the required 77,468 signatures by the July 2, 2010 petition drive deadline in order the measure to be considered for the November 2, 2010 ballot. The signatures must be turned in to the Arkansas Secretary of State and signatures must be from registered voters in the state in order to be considered valid.

See also


  1. NWA Online, "Secure Arkansas Seeks Signatures For Petition", April 19, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Arkansas News, "Illegal immigration foes want Arkansas to emulate Arizona", April 27, 2010
  3. Today's THV, "Secure Arkansas working to put legislation on ballot preventing illegals from receiving benefits", April 29, 2010