by Max Brantley
As in other parts of the country, Latinos and other immigrants in Arkansas are paying close attention to the election, immigrant organizers in the state report. That's largely because of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that has dominated the Republican presidential race, including frontrunner Donald Trump's proposals to build a wall along the southern U.S. border and deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. People are concerned and looking to get involved.Every little bit helps. But realistically, given Trump's likely appeal in Arkansas and the small Latino vote, a push for registration is more of a stepping stone to the future than a likely determinant in the 2016 presidential race in the state. The article says Latinos make up 7 percent of Arkansas population, 6.2 percent of workforce and 3 percent of eligible voters.
"Our communities are hearing it and they're coming to us," said Mireya Reith, executive director of Arkansas United Community Coalition (AUCC) [and a member of the state Board of Education], an immigrant rights organization.
This year, Reith's group is running a statewide voter campaign. She said that people are coming to the organization looking for help with the naturalization process and voter registration.