WASHINGTON D.C. (KNWA/FOX24) — An Arkansas immigrant advocacy group is helping lead a national movement for immigration policy reform.
Mireya Reith with Arkansas United lead a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Tuesday afternoon.
This rally was in support of a bipartisan group of senators sharing they are working on a draft framework that includes $25 billion to improve border security in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for more than two million people who are in the U.S. as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, also known as “Dreamers.”
Currently, only Dreamers who have already been in the system are allowed to renew their status. New Dreamers who turn 18 can apply for the status, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is not processing those requests.
Reith is also the chair of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, also known as FIRM. According to its website, FIRM is a national coalition of grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal levels.
Reith said Arkansas is a hub for immigrant communities and this legislation could be a game changer for thousands of Arkansans.
“Arkansas is proud to boast we believe about 11,000 who currently have DACA,” she said. “We are here to make the appeal to Congress in this moment, to take action now. Because we know that we have needs in Arkansas that we can all work together to meet those workforce and economic needs and we know that Arkansas families, in general, can’t wait for a better economy.”
She said they do have some concerns about the compromises in this bill and that she hopes Congress members will work with them on those. They are meeting with Arkansas Sen. John Boozman at his office on Wednesday to begin those conversations.
Arkansas United is working alongside over 35 state organizations from across the country to work on permanent protections for immigrants in the U.S.