Mexican Consulate, Raids and Lawmakers' Ire Faced Arkansas Hispanics in '07

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Mexico's 47th consulate in the United States opened in Little Rock in April with the cutting of a green, red and white ribbon.  The event was an acknowledgement of Arkansas' rapidly growing Hispanic community.

But not everyone greeted Arkansas' new community with open arms in 2007, as state legislators denounced illegal immigration, federal agents raided businesses and the state police looked at conducting immigration checks.

News surrounding the state's Hispanic population, growing at one of the fastest paces in the nation, was the year's eighth-biggest story, according to a poll of Associated Press broadcasters and newspapers, as well as Arkansas' AP staff.

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