Editorials March 3 

Stop HB 1012 HB 1012 is an innocent-sounding measure — “An act to authorize the enforcement of federal immigration laws by certain police officers” — that would have a devastating impact if approved. HB 1012 would allow selected members of the Arkansas State Police and the Highway and Transportation Department Police to enforce federal immigration laws. It would change forever the way that the police are perceived by Arkansas’s growing Latino community, now estimated to number 150,000. The Arkansas Times’ Spanish-language sister publication, El Latino, fields calls every week from readers who have law enforcement needs and problems but are afraid to go to the police. They may have been victims of a mugging, a burglary, even rape. We tell them to go directly to the police and assure them that the police are there to help them, and not to question their immigration status. Even people with documents are hesitant to go to the police, from long years of fearing authority in their home countries. HB 1012 will destroy the fragile bridges that we, the police and others have been trying to build between the fast-growing Latino community and law enforcement. The Latino-born staff of El Latino says that at least half of the 150,000 Latinos living in Arkansas do not have documents. We all wish it was different, but that is the reality. If this bill passes, crimes, accidents and crime-solving information from thousands of Arkansas residents will go unreported for fear of arrest and deportation on the part of otherwise law-abiding people. Ten or 12 state policemen trained in immigration enforcement will ultimately have little effect on illegal immigration, but they will end all communication between the huge Latino population and local police. A vote for HB1012 is a vote against law and order. State Sen. Jim Argue of Little Rock may find himself locked out of the Senate quiet room. He rather egregiously violated a Senate rule this week, the one that says that rich corporations soliciting favors from the Senate are above criticism. Legislators are allowed to malign at will pregnant young women and those who would help them, quadriplegic victims of industrial accidents, schoolteachers who object to religious indoctrination in textbooks, civil libertarians defending free speech, and anyone who doesn’t belong to the National Rifle Association. But speak ill of a corporation? It’s considered common. Nevertheless, Argue lit into Deltic Timber Corp. in a memo to Central Arkansas water commissioners, calling Deltic a “corporate bully” — more than once — and urging the commission to continue defending Central Arkansas’s major water supply against Deltic’s plans for high-profit development. We should all be giving the water commissioners the same advice. Our drinking water is at risk.

From the ArkTimes store


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Woo. An open line

    The open line. Hogs, Trump, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Trump launches attack on 'SOBs' of the NFL

    Donald Trump led a rally for Alabama Senate candidate Luther Strange Friday night and the resulting news coverage (if not in our local newspaper) is giving great attention for his rant against the NFL, including but not limited to players who have made political statements by taking a knee during the National Anthem.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • Driver killed in crash with Maumelle officer

    Maumelle police report the death early this morning of a motorist who crashed head-on with a Maumelle police officer. The officer and two passengers in the other vehicle were injured.
    • Sep 23, 2017
  • More »

More by Arkansas Times Staff

Most Shared

  • ASU to reap $3.69 million from estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn

    Arkansas State University announced today plans for spending an expected $3.69 million gift in the final distribution of the estate of Jim and Wanda Lee Vaughn, who died in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
  • Bad health care bill, again

    Wait! Postpone tax reform and everything else for a while longer because the Senate is going to try to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act one more time before September ends and while it can do it with the votes of only 50 senators.
  • Sex on campus

    Look, the Great Campus Rape Crisis was mainly hype all along. What Vice President Joe Biden described as an epidemic of sexual violence sweeping American college campuses in 2011 was vastly overstated.
  • The inadequate legacy of Brown

    LRSD continues to abdicate its responsibility to educate poor black students.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »


  1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Sex on campus

    • Once again commentators blame the victim. Social scientists, of whom I am one, regularly find…

    • on September 22, 2017
  • Re: Time for a coalition

    • Shiny, nobody is saying that Hillary isn't entitled to speak. Shit, the more she talks,…

    • on September 21, 2017
  • Re: Bad health care bill, again

    • Its hard to tell what the GOP in Arkansas care about beyond making life worse…

    • on September 20, 2017

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation