Lawmaker Apologizes for E-Mail on Immigrants, Blacks

LITTLE ROCK, AR - A state senator apologized yesterday for an e-mail he wrote that said "we are being outpopulated by the blacks."

The e-mail by Republican Senator Denny Altes of Fort Smith also called for sending illegal immigrants back to their home countries.

Altes says he sent the e-mail earlier this month to former Fort Smith Mayor Bill Vines.

Altes says he's sorry if the e-mail hurt anyone's feelings, but he says he does not consider the comments racist.

State Republican Chairman Dennis Milligan called on Altes to apologize.

Altes has served in the Legislature since 1999, when he was elected to the House.  He served two terms there and has been a member of the state Senate since 2003.

In 2005, Altes co-sponsored unsuccessful legislation that would have required proof of legal status when applying for state services that aren't federally mandated and proof of citizenship when registering to vote.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)