Coalition has forum to discuss immigration reform

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-The Arkansas United Community Coalition held a open forum today in Jonesboro to discuss the new immigration reform

A group of immigrants gathered at the Allen Park Community Center in Jonesboro to get more information on new immigration policies and how those policies may impact their lives. Mireya Reith is the executive director of the coalition and said this is one of ten forums that the coalition will have across the state.

"Today we're gathering a group of immigrants," Reith said. "Primarily, Latinos from the general Jonesboro area to have a conversation with them about immigration reform."

Activists also attended the forum to provide information on reforms and recent debates. Although most legislation is in the principal phase, they still wanted immigrants to know the possible outcome.

"What's been exciting for us," Reith said. "To see as an immigrant activist group has been mention of a passport to citizenship for our undocumented immigrants so recognizing that it doesn't benefit anyone to have 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country in the shadows."

The discussions included state information as well as federal.

"What does the Senate's announcement about comprehensive immigration reform mean," said Reith. "What does the president's announcement mean, clarifying that these aren't laws as of yet but that these are opportunities."

Reith said these forums are important to the immigrants of Arkansas.

"We find that our immigrant community here in Arkansas is many times a couple steps removed from these conversations," Reith said. "These policy conversations in part because there is not a whole lot of Spanish language information out there for them."

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