Bill to Allow Police to Serve as Immigration Officers Moves On

FEBRUARY 16, 2005 - Posted at 1:45 p.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A House committee approved a bill today that could lead to Arkansas State Police troopers receiving training in federal immigration laws.

The bill would allow the state police to negotiate with the federal government for money to train officers in immigration law enforcement on Arkansas highways.  Currently, state troopers cannot enforce immigration laws without calling in federal agents.

The House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committee passed the bill by Tim and Jeremy Hutchinson on to the House floor, but several members expressed concern about racially inflamatory language in a letter supporting the bill.

The Hutchinson brothers included in an information packet a letter from Doug and Dorris Reed of Roland that called Hispanic civil rights groups "ill-willed" and accused Hispanics of trying to "reclaim America."

Jeremy Hutchinson denied any knowledge of the letter.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)