Immigrants Speak Out About Being Undocumented

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The event “Undocumented: Living in the Shadows” put a face to the immigration controversy. There were six panelist, five illegal immigrants and one legal immigrant, some were University of Arkansas students.

University of Arkansas Chancellor G. David Gearhart was the moderator. The panelists gave their individual stories of being brought here as small children and answered the question: What's it like to be an American but not be an American?

Zessna Garcia came to the United States when she was three years old and has lived in Bentonville ever since. She graduated from Bentonville High School.

“By coming out tonight hopefully I will be able to put a face to the issue and people will understand that it’s a human issue and it’s not about who’s right or wrong," Garcia said. "It’s about our children and people living here in the United States who really deserve a chance to be here," Garcia said with tears in her eyes.

Chancellor Gearhart said he received calls and emails to cancel the event and said he never considered it. Gearhart also expressed his support for the DREAM Act, which would give a path legal residency through education.

Gearhart also said people from both sides of the issue sent questions in for the panelists.