Arkansas Activists Join Immigration Fight In D.C.

ALMA — Latino voters representing Fort Smith and other Arkansas communities are traveling to Washington, D.C., to support stalled immigration reform efforts.

More than 50 Arkansans are expected to rally with others across the country on the Supreme Court steps Monday as arguments are heard on a lawsuit blocking deferred action initiatives.

“It’s to lift up the voices of immigrant families and their allies who want to see the Supreme Court make the right decision in letting the implementation of this program go through,” Arkansas United Community Coalition Executive Director Mireya Reith said Saturday. “We’ve been proud to be Arkansas’ immigrant advocacy group that lobbied directly our Congress and president to see these executive actions take place.”

The executive programs, announced in November 2014 by the president, would allow some qualifying undocumented students and parents of citizens to receive temporary work permits.

“Since it’s been stalled with the court system, we’ve had a commitment to accompany the process each and every step of the way,” Reith said. “We’re going to D.C. on this trip, and and if we have the opportunity, we’ll go back in June when the Supreme Court gets ready to give their announcement.”

Programs in question are called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, or DAPA, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

“Parents of U.S. citizens and U.S. residents that don’t have a criminal record would be able to get a work permit and be in the country without fear of being deported,” Marideis Medina of Fort Smith said. “Right now, the Fort Smith and Fayetteville area, they’re getting a lot of immigrant community. A lot of people, they don’t have legal status. That’s something we definitely need in this area.” – See more at:

By Chad Hunter for Times Record
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