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. Sponsors for the measure submitted signatures to the Arkansas Secretary of State's office, and signatures are currently being reviewed. According to reports, sponsors submitted approximately 78,000 signatures.[1][2]

Support

Supporters

The following are supporters for the proposed measure:[3]

Arguments

Arguments that have been made in support of the measure are as follows:[3]

  • 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."

Tactics and strategies

  • During the Arkansas primary elections on May 18, 2010, Secure Arkansas set up stations near polling places to gather signatures for their petition drive. In Fayetteville, the group had collected about 100 signatures during the elections.[4]
  • According to reports, supporters held 38 statewide rallies on June 11, 2010.[5]

Opposition

Opponents

The following are opponents of the proposed measure:[3]

Arguments

Arguments that have been made against the proposed measure are as follows:[3]

  • 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.”
  • According to one voter voting in the Arkansas primary elections, and commenting after seeing Secure Arkansas' petition drive's strategy to set up signature collecting stations at polling places, "Steal bread if you're hungry. They're not stealing bread. They're just here to work so they can earn money to buy bread."[4]

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. Secure Arkansas has stated, as of June 30, 2010, that they are getting close to collecting the required amount of signatures to get their proposal on the ballot.[7]

See also

Additional reading

References

  1. NWA Online, "Secure Arkansas Seeks Signatures For Petition", April 19, 2010
  2. KATV.com, "Petition Submitted for Illegal Immigration Measure", July 3, 2010
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Arkansas News, "Illegal immigration foes want Arkansas to emulate Arizona", April 27, 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 4029tv.com, "Group Hopes To Get Initiative On Nov. Ballot", May 18, 2010
  5. 4029tv.com, "Group Gathers Petition For Constitutional Amendment", June 10, 2010
  6. Today's THV, "Secure Arkansas working to put legislation on ballot preventing illegals from receiving benefits", April 29, 2010
  7. KATV.com, "Group Says They Are Close to Getting Immigration Initiative on Ballot", June 30, 2010