CAVE SPRINGS (KFSM) - Sen. Bart Hester, R-Cave Springs, wrote a letter to Gov. Mike Beebe on Friday (Aug. 1) asking what contact the state has had with the federal government concerning immigrants who recently entered the country, and Arkansas, illegally.
In the letter, Hester wrote, "I am writing concerning reports the federal government has begun housing illegal immigrants in states across the country, often times without the knowledge or consent of governors or legislatures."
Hester calls the recent immigration situation a "security crisis" and "humanitarian and health crisis."
Four main questions outlined by Hester in the letter are:
- Is the federal government currently placing illegal immigrant refugees in the state of Arkansas?
- If the answer to the above question is yes, how many have been re-located to our state to date, and where are they being housed?
- What steps are being taken by the state to secure these locations in terms of both safety and public health?
- What contact has our state had with the federal government regarding the housing of illegal immigrants?
The state senator also said in the letter that it is likely, in the next few weeks, members of the Legislature will schedule committee meetings to hold public discussions on illegal crossings at the U.S. Southern border and how the crossings are affecting Arkansas.
Governor Beebe's spokesman Matt DeCample tells 5NEWS that the governor will directly respond to the letter in the near future.
DeCample says that there are currently 166 immigrant children who are in the state illegally, who were placed with sponsor families. The Federal Government placed the kids within the state, and checked every child for disease and vaccinations.
The governor's office says they were not involved in the placing of any immigrant children in the country illegally within the state.
To read a full copy of the letter, click here.