Immigrants in Arkansas

Arkansas businesses such as Tyson Foods, ministers and others have founded The Arkansas Friendship Coalition to promote the role of 100,000 immigrants in the state’s economy and offset anti-immigration initiatives.
For Arkansas there is an in-depth analysis of the immigrant population, prepared by in-state and national specialists in immigration studies. Among the findings: (1) Arkansas experienced the greatest growth (48%) in Hispanic immigration of any state during 2000-2005. (2) One quarter of immigrants are engaged in food processing (beef and poultry), and (3) in 2004-5, half of the 100,000 immigrants were undocumented.
Most immigrants, the study reports. As employed in the manufacturing sector, which includes meet processing. Overall, for the past ten years the state has experienced a reduction in manufacturing employment, and without this new source of worker the report estimates that manufacturing would have declined further.
Neighboring Oklahoma enacted anti-illegal immigration legislation, The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 [HB 1804], in May. It denies illegal immigrants state identification, and requires all state and local agencies to verify citizenship status of applicants before authorizing benefits. The law also require public employers to enter job applicants into an electronic immigration database to verify legal status.

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