AR Immigration update 01/22/09
Our lobbying for immigration will be a difficult fight. Below is a letter from an activist:
Letter to editor:
On Thursday, January 15, 2009, several of us from this area made the trip to Little Rock for a Secure Arkansas Rally in support of legislation that would curb illegal immigration in Arkansas, HB1093. After the press conference, we had an opportunity to talk with our District Representative, Ray Kidd. At the rally, there were about 5 men who were there to speak to the media about having lost their jobs due directly to illegal immigrants. So, as we gathered around Ray Kidd, we all wanted to impress upon him how very serious the situation is all over Arkansas and wanted him to hear what the 5 men had to say. One of the men, a brick mason, who had testified earlier told him how he had lost his job and his home because of illegal aliens. Mr. Kidd paid little attention to the man.
A lady from ElDorado had a chance to speak with him first and he asked her where she lived. She told him, Eldorado. His reply was, "I represent my district and we don't have a problem with illegal immigration in Craighead County. The people in my district want them here for cheap labor." You all need to come down to the coffee shop with me and listen to the businessmen." We offered to do that. Probably, the same people, same coffee shop each time.
Someone in our group asked him how he could say that when 90% of the people in our area that were approached last summer to sign the petitions to get the initiative on the ballot for the November election which would have helped curb the number of illegal aliens coming to Arkansas and 95% of the people in a KAIT TV poll said they would vote for the initiative.
After a little more discussion he said, "Okay, I will support it." Someone said, "Will you really?" Will you co-sponsor HB1093?" Then he said, "I will sponsor it if the majority of legislators support it". One person called his hand on that and remarked that that's like seeing which way the wind blows rather than doing what was best for Arkansas and what his constituents want.
He then said, "Well, I don't support any bill that is sponsored by a Republican and that bill is sponsored by a Republican." (HB1093 is sponsored by Bill Sample, a Republican.) I, then, looked him straight in the eye and said, " Mr. Kidd, you just said you represent your district. I am in your district, and I am a Republican, are you telling me that you don't represent me?".
Representative Kidd then became angry and said, "I'm tired of this BULL. I don't have to stand here and listen to this Bull", then turned and walked off.
HB 1093 is now in the Judicial Committee. At this moment, there may be 5 For and 5 Against, but we need 11 For it to get it out of committee.
If you would like to contact Rep Ray about the illegal immigration, here is his contact info:
Rep. Ray Kidd Dist. 76
3718 Hwy 463 South
Jonesboro AR 72401
HB1093 is on the agenda for the Judiciary Committee Meeting in room 149 for Thursday Jan 22nd, it's not known if the bill will actually be discussed that day. So far, no other bill concerning illegal immigration is being debated.