Keet works the immigrant issue | Arkansas Blog

Friday, August 20, 2010

Keet works the immigrant issue

Posted By on Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 10:58 AM

You betcha. Fear of the brown hordes is a winner this election year. Republican Jim Keet has a plan if voters will just toss Gov. Mike Beebe out:


Republican nominee Jim Keet released the following statement on immigration:

It is a compelling public interest of this state to discourage illegal immigration. The Federal government has failed in securing the borders and preventing the increasing flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into our country.

As governor and attorney general, Mike Beebe has done little or nothing to deal with the problem. He has repeatedly taken the position that it is not the state’s business. He says it is a problem for federal authorities and openly discouraged collaboration with the federal government. Because he has provided no leadership, Arkansas has fallen behind other states which have addressed the problem, including most recently Arizona. I support their efforts to protect their citizens and their unique problems. I intend to address this critical issue immediately when I am elected governor.

Immigration Policy

On day one, I will take the following steps to begin to address the problem of illegal immigration.

1) I will direct all agencies within this state to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities and take maximum advantage of already established federal programs designed to control illegal immigration. For instance, Rogers and Benton County and Springdale and Washington County have implemented the 287g program administered by ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Pulaski County has recently initiated the Secure Communities program in collaboration with ICE. Arkansas needs to take full advantage of the ICE ACCESS program which is designed to assess local needs and draft appropriate plans of action based on the assessments.

2) I will order a top to bottom review of all state laws, regulations, policies and practices concerning illegal immigrants to insure that our laws and practices are comprehensive and up-to-date. Such revisions will include, but not be limited to:

a) Laws and policies to ensure that no illegal immigrant receives public benefits except in certain justifiable emergency situations.

b) Laws and policies to ensure that no illegal immigrant receives scholarships, grants, in-state tuition, or other financial aid for postsecondary education.

c) Comprehensive regulation of the issuance of identification documents to include the creation of a Fraudulent Documents Identification Unit within the Arkansas State Police to investigate and apprehend those who participate in the sale or distribution of fraudulent documents used for identification purposes, focusing especially on documents created and prepared for illegal immigrants.

d) Make it unlawful for a person to harbor or transport illegal immigrants in reckless disregard for the fact that the alien is an illegal immigrant.

e) Requiring a reasonable effort to determine the citizenship status of a person charged with a felony or DWI.

3) I will urge the attorney general join with Arizona and other states in opposing the Obama Administrations efforts to prevent states from protecting their citizens from illegal immigration.
Illegal immigration is a complex and challenging problem. It calls for the utmost cooperation between federal, state, and local authorities. We need to consider collaborating with ICE and implement the 287g program or others where it is needed and where it will be effective. We need to encourage our cities to explore the Safe Communities program. We need to actively participate in the ICE ACCESS program to be sure we are leaving no stone unturned. In short we need to be willing to try new things. There’s no question the people of Arkansas want this problem resolved. They deserve leadership and I intend to give it to them.

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