Business owner voices opinion on recent Hispanic Immigrant study - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Business owner voices opinion on recent Hispanic Immigrant study

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PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) – A new study by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation says for every dollar the state of Arkansas spends on Hispanic immigrants they get seven in return.

The menu at Dog N Suds in Paragould is plastered with American Food but might surprise you is who is behind the business.

"This business has been around for the past sixty years but we bought it in 2002", says Maria Hernandez.

Maria is from El Salvador, a small country in Central America, and she has lived in the United States for the past 25 years.

The study also states Arkansas benefits almost four billion dollars a year from Hispanic immigrant workers.

Maria says she's seen an increase in the Hispanic population in the small town and with a new law they would be given the opportunity to achieve goals like she did.

"I think that a new legislation would help them a lot. There are a lot of Hispanics who are afraid to buy a home or car because of their status, but not only the state of Arkansas would benefit but the whole country in the long run", Hernandez says.

She is a naturalized citizen and has lived in the different parts of the U.S. but she says like many other she decided to stay in the town because it feels more like home.

"We have moved around a lot. We have lived in Los Angeles and Texas but in reality, Paragould is really peaceful and we feel very good here. It's a great place and we have had the chance to raise our kids like we wanted", says Maria.

Her Husband and Brother-in-Law both own their own real estate agencies and she says every incoming immigrant should try to work as hard as they can to become Naturalized Citizens.

"If you are not a citizen you can't help decide in many issues that you would be able to as a citizen. When you vote you are able to voice your opinion and that's how we can make this a better state, by having our thought to count", says Maria.

 

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