“Don’t Deport Dad” Rally Coming to Fayetteville

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According to the Pew research center,  more than 70,000 undocumented immigrants live in Arkansas.

Local law enforcement agencies have a program in place to ensure that those immigrants are removed.

The Arkansas justice collective is raising awareness about the effects of deportation on immigrant families in Northwest Arkansas.

Both Benton and Washington County have a program called 287(g).

If someone is arrested and they aren’t from here a red flag will go up and they can be deported if they are illegal.

The collective said Washington County can detain someone even if they haven’t committed a crime and that’s where they have concerns for both the immigrants and the families. 

American children left behind without their illegal immigrant parents. One Mexican immigrant we spoke with said, “yes you are going to stay but we’re going to deport your family.”

That’s why the Arkansas justice collective is working to bring awareness to something too difficult to fully grasp.

Stephen Coger is the Director for the Arkansas Justice Collective. He said, “Many of these immigrant neighbors of ours in Northwest Arkansas have children that are actually born here that are US citizens that have never been to Mexico or El Salvador and yet their parents remain without a legal status in the country.”

According to research from a University of Arkansas assistant sociology professor, between 2007 and 2012 nearly 15,000 illegal immigrants were deported from Benton and Washington counties.

The collective works to help these families obtain legal status and they’re working to bring awareness to the families involved.

Coger said,  “Out of 75 counties in Arkansas only two do it and one of them is ours and so we are hoping to convince Sheriff Helder that he should probably stop. “

287(g) is a collaboration between federal and local authorities that allows specially trained local law enforcement to arrest illegal citizens.

This weekend the group will hold a rally called “Don’t Deport Dad” in hopes of stopping the program in the Natural State. 

“Our president has just requested 4.5 billion to deport immigrants, he wants to deport eight million of our eleven million undocumented neighbors. So we want to help Sheriff Helder withdraw from these programs before it’s too late.”

Both Benton and Washington county did confirm the existence of 287 (g).

But representatives from both counties were unable to speak with us today.

This weekend’s “Don’t Deport Dad” rally takes in the plaza of the the Fayetteville Town Center.
 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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