Activitst Criticizes Law Targeting Illegal Immigrants

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An immigration activist says laws and ballot measures targeting illegal immigration will only create a "permanent social underclass" and push communities to view people with dark complexions with unwarranted suspicion.

Jim Miranda of Bella Vista, a member of the Arkansas Friendship Coalition, spoke yesterday at the Clinton School for Public Service in Little Rock.  He said a state initiative aimed at stopping illegal immigrants from getting state benefits would only create what he called a "horrific oversight system" costing taxpayers time and money.

Miranda said such efforts help create fear among business owners and others, who may deny legal residents services as they default to the side of caution.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)