LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansans overwhelmingly support lawmakers attempts at a bipartisan immigration reform measure, according to a new survey out of UALR and pollster Public Policy Polling.
Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and UALR provost Doctor Zulma Toro called for politicians to work toward a new immigration plan for economic reasons. Stodola pointed to Arkansas as a state with a fast growing immigrant population.
"First of all, you should know that immigrants represent $3.9 billion in consumer spending power in Arkansas in 2010. That's a $1 billion increase in six years," Stodola said.
According to the new poll, 67 percent surveyed either strongly or somewhat support the bill emerging from the U.S. Senate. Fifty-eight percent said they'd be more likely to vote for an elected official who voted for that legislation.
"Comprehensive immigration reform presents an opportunity for the United States to lay the foundation for a strong and competitive economy better suited for the future," said Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola. "As a state with one of the fastest growing immigrant populations and strong high-skill and low-skill sectors, Arkansas will receive tremendous benefits from comprehensive immigration reform."
The poll was sponsored by the Alliance for Citizenship, Partnership for a New American Economy and Republicans for Immigration Reform.
In the Senate Thursday, a GOP backed amendment to make strict border controls a requirement for other parts of the bill failed by 14 votes.
For more information on this poll, see the .pdf file attached to this story.