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Mith242

The Hispanic Community in Arkansas

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I have said much about the hispanic community and influx in one of the other topics but figured that this really could use it's own topic. To start things off I wanted to mention a current event that is becoming more frequent, the Minuteman Movement. In case you haven't heard anything about this yet, it started a little under a year ago in Arizona. People were concerned the Homeland Security and US Government weren't doing enough to stop illegal immigration. This has become a popular movement and is now spreading into other areas of the US. Most recently into the southeast. As far as I know it hasn't happened in Arkansas yet but figure it's probably just a matter of time. basically it boils down to people are taking things into their own hands and trying to stop illegal immigrants. There is a problem with immigration here in the US and so far this doesn't sound too bad. But the problem is how things are being done. Maybe this doesn't apply to every Minuteman group but this seems to be how it works in many of them. They stop people or even pull them over in their vehicles to check their papers. First of all this really runs into the racial profiling for one thing. But you're pretty much having people take the law into their own hands holding these people until their local law agency responds. This in my opinion is setting a very bad precedent. I understand people are frustrated with the immigration problem and they don't think the government isn't doing a good enough job. If people are suspicious and then reported their info to the government or local law officials would be one thing but to start making decisions on your own is another. If you set this sort of precedent where are you going to draw the line? If someone broke a law in my community and I don't have enough faith in my local law agency to handle the situation. Does this give the right to go take things into my own hands? What if I have good reason to believe such and such person might be a child molester and/or into child pornography. Does that give me the right to break into that person's house and maybe computer to find evidence myself? I know these people are probably just trying to help but I really don't think you can allow these people to take the law into their own hands. The government has been put in an awkward position. They appreciate people taking an interest and trying to help but have stated that people can to hand info or give a head's up but should not take the law into their own hands. Turn over your info to trained law enforcement.

This also has racial implications here in the south of course. A lot of people in the south have seen stricking similarities between rhetoric and methods used against Afro-Americans in the south back in the 60's. Apparently many people didn't learn anything about our racial problems not that long ago here in the south. There are already people not making much distinction between illegal immigrants and the hispanic community as a whole. Some people fear some of these Minutemen are spreading misinformation and terrorizing ethnic neighborhoods here in the south. How do you keep these groups from turning into hate groups? Will this turn into the new KKK? Are we going to have to go through what we did in the 60's all over again? If you aren't familiar with any of my posts I am not hispanic and will not hide the fact that I do take a more positive view of the hispanic community. No matter if you do or don't like the hispanic growth going on in the US, this is a very dangerous precedent to be setting.

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Well no responses here, but the mostly identical post in the southeastern area has gotten some responses. Ironically from people who visit the Arkansas forum. But anyway you might be better off taking a look there to get a better discussion of the topic than here. But of course feel free to post any comments here also.

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^Great Article.

I'm having internet problems right now, so i'll try to post about this topin later.

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In Little Rock they fill a small niche and I think Hispanics are generally welcomed with little dissent but there are relatively few of them (1/20 as many as NWA). Most people in Little Rock are glad to have a little cultural infusion.

In NWA I think they things are a bit different. In Texas, Florida, and California where Hispanic migration has been steady for decades there's already a developed Hispanic middle class that is well integrated, though there is continued migration and culturally isolated high-crime barrios. Rogers and Springdale were such different towns a decade ago than now because of Hispanic migration and the older parts of town have become Hispanic-dominated in some areas (US 71 in Springdale, etc). Most of the workers are very low-wage and though nobody was willing to do the work, I think a lot of people would just as well have the chicken plants elsewhere - they don't fit with the "new" NWA. I don't think there's ever been such a dramatic migration into an area in such a short period of time (based on largely NWA alone Arkansas has been #1 in growth of Hispanic population for several years) and I think this is why you see the resentment. It is causing some trouble in the Springdale and Rogers schools and I think ultimately you'll see some flight to adjacent communities. I just hope that some assimilation takes place over time. It is harder to isolate yourself and speak and read only Spanish in NWA than a large city like Houston or Dallas, and I hope this will prevent crime and poverty from plaguing these areas.

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In Little Rock they fill a small niche and I think Hispanics are generally welcomed with little dissent but there are relatively few of them (1/20 as many as NWA). Most people in Little Rock are glad to have a little cultural infusion.

In NWA I think they things are a bit different. In Texas, Florida, and California where Hispanic migration has been steady for decades there's already a developed Hispanic middle class that is well integrated, though there is continued migration and culturally isolated high-crime barrios. Rogers and Springdale were such different towns a decade ago than now because of Hispanic migration and the older parts of town have become Hispanic-dominated in some areas (US 71 in Springdale, etc). Most of the workers are very low-wage and though nobody was willing to do the work, I think a lot of people would just as well have the chicken plants elsewhere - they don't fit with the "new" NWA. I don't think there's ever been such a dramatic migration into an area in such a short period of time (based on largely NWA alone Arkansas has been #1 in growth of Hispanic population for several years) and I think this is why you see the resentment. It is causing some trouble in the Springdale and Rogers schools and I think ultimately you'll see some flight to adjacent communities. I just hope that some assimilation takes place over time. It is harder to isolate yourself and speak and read only Spanish in NWA than a large city like Houston or Dallas, and I hope this will prevent crime and poverty from plaguing these areas.

Very true, it is harder because this is a smaller area and also because this area had been almost all white not that long ago. But I do think there is hope, slowly as more of a hispanic middle class develops I think this will help things. A lot of people may not be crazy over the chicken plants and such but they do provide jobs and money. Many hispanics do send money back to Mexico but they do have to spend some of it here. And without their labor we'd be in bad shape. We already have a hard time filling a lot of jobs because of our low unemployment rates.

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Very true, it is harder because this is a smaller area and also because this area had been almost all white not that long ago. But I do think there is hope, slowly as more of a hispanic middle class develops I think this will help things. A lot of people may not be crazy over the chicken plants and such but they do provide jobs and money. Many hispanics do send money back to Mexico but they do have to spend some of it here. And without their labor we'd be in bad shape. We already have a hard time filling a lot of jobs because of our low unemployment rates.

NWA apparently has a disproportionate number of Mexicans working half the year in the U.S. and then returning to Mexico to live free and easy the rest of the year on what they've saved. That's where you have the disruption in the schools, lots of kids showing up at mid-year and leaving throughout the year. Hopefully over time they will decide to either stay or go and this will help them assimilate.

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NWA apparently has a disproportionate number of Mexicans working half the year in the U.S. and then returning to Mexico to live free and easy the rest of the year on what they've saved. That's where you have the disruption in the schools, lots of kids showing up at mid-year and leaving throughout the year. Hopefully over time they will decide to either stay or go and this will help them assimilate.

I wasn't aware that there were that many of them doing this.

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I wasn't aware that there were that many of them doing this.

I was going to say something about this but had to leave.

Anyways, I'm sure a small percentage of NW Arkansas Hispanics do this, but I don't think that a lot of them do.

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One thing that has suprised me for a while up here in NWA, is that no developer has taken an interest into developing hispanic banks.

I'm suprised that no one has jumped on it, because almost 20% of Rogers is Hispanic and so is a lot of Springdale. Most rely on Bank of America, but I think a complete Hispanic Bank would help them with financial problems, check cashings, etc.

Any Thoughts?

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One thing that has suprised me for a while up here in NWA, is that no developer has taken an interest into developing hispanic banks.

I'm suprised that no one has jumped on it, because almost 20% of Rogers is Hispanic and so is a lot of Springdale. Most rely on Bank of America, but I think a complete Hispanic Bank would help them with financial problems, check cashings, etc.

Any Thoughts?

I think what's more likely to happen is that the existing banks are more likely to make a move to appeal to hispanics more. I do think some banks have already started doing this. I'm not sure if anyone with the capitol would want to try to start a bank just to appeal to one group in the area. I'm certainly not opposed to the idea though. As more banks move into the area like they seem to be doing I think this will cause more competition and cause some banks to try to appeal to hispanics to keep some of their business.

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I wasn't aware that there were that many of them doing this.

You like La Huerta, right? Ever notice the staff rotates in and out and people are gone for months at a time?

Somebody brought up Hispanic Banks. Even in DFW with a Hispanic population of over a million, these are quite rare. Check cashing businesses are far, far more common as are services like Western Union that allow them to wire their money to Mexico. Illegals have a very difficult time opening up U.S. bank accounts and the bulk of Mexicans in NWA are illegal. Bank of American has a lot of bilingual services in Dallas.

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You like La Huerta, right? Ever notice the staff rotates in and out and people are gone for months at a time?

Somebody brought up Hispanic Banks. Even in DFW with a Hispanic population of over a million, these are quite rare. Check cashing businesses are far, far more common as are services like Western Union that allow them to wire their money to Mexico. Illegals have a very difficult time opening up U.S. bank accounts and the bulk of Mexicans in NWA are illegal. Bank of American has a lot of bilingual services in Dallas.

I hadn't noticed too much at La Huerta. I have noticed some people come and go but I don't recall seeing people come back to work after leaving for an extended period. But I also may be focusing on some of the people I know at the restaurant better and haven't left.

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I just think that it would be an excellent business if a bank just focused on the Hispanic Population. It sounds almost to good to be true, but it would work very well here.

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I think just about everyone has heard of Cinco de Mayo. It's probably the most well know Mexican holiday. But with the increase of hispanics and Mexicans taking place in northwest Arkansas and the rest of the state, some of the other holidays are starting to become a little more known. Two other holidays that I have seen somewhat celbrated here in northwest Arkansas is the Dia de la Indepedencia, which is the Mexican Independance day on Sept 16. By the way Cinco de Mayo isn't the Independance day as many gringos seem to think, it's actually celebrating a big victory over the French at the battle of Puebla. Another Mexican holiday that seems to be catching on a little more is Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, which is today Nov 2. I guess the closest day we have to it is Memorial Day. It is a day to remember deceased family members and loved ones. Although I think some Americans associate it with Halloween too, not just because they are close together on the calendar. But also because you will sometimes see skeleton figures and such that remind us gringos of Halloween. Just thought I'd share a little info of some of our newest people in Arkansas.

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Sounds like the Minuteman Group are trying to organize something in Hot Springs. Sounds like they eventually want to have a group in every city of Arkansas above 20,000.

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Sounds like the Minuteman Group are trying to organize something in Hot Springs. Sounds like they eventually want to have a group in every city of Arkansas above 20,000.

Honestly, what are they going to do here? How are they going to spot illegals?

Sounds like a bunch of retired folks who have nothing better to do.

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Eleven employees of the Little Rock Country Club were arrested by the INS for having fake documents yesterday. Initially it was reported as a "raid" but apparently the LRCC cooperated in full.

This is the country club in the Heights that Clinton belonged to that he bowed out of when national media attention was brought to the fact that at the time they had no black members.

Kind of strange, I bet every poultry plant in AR would make a much higher yield target and I'm sure that nobody else want to landscape golf courses in 103 degree heat.

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Honestly, what are they going to do here? How are they going to spot illegals?

Sounds like a bunch of retired folks who have nothing better to do.

your right what are they going to do here. They dont have nothing better to do, then come and ruin peoples life and family. The majority of the hispanic people are just here to work hard and servive in this society thats all. And this minuteman gang are just going to kill it all. All the hispanic do, are jobs that people like white, black and some citizen wont do.

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The only good thing I will say about this is that the guy starting this in Hot Springs doesn't seem like some of the typical racist guys that has been seen in some of the other groups. He seems just to be concerned over illegal immigrants. The bad thing of course is that groups like this have a tendency to attract racists and people who have other agendas. I still have to question the Minuteman Movement's methods as well. Would it be right to pick out people just because of their race? People here in NWA sometimes mistake the Marshallese population here as Hispanics. Does that mean it's okay to bother and harrass them just because someone can't tell the difference from some of Hispanic and Polynesian descent?

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Arkansas is not that far away from Mexico so its just a matter of time before Hispanics start migrating from Mexico to Texas to Arkansas, maybe not in HUGE numbers like Texas is getting yearly but you have to think a little over flow will happen at some point.

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Arkansas is not that far away from Mexico so its just a matter of time before Hispanics start migrating from Mexico to Texas to Arkansas, maybe not in HUGE numbers like Texas is getting yearly but you have to think a little over flow will happen at some point.

Oh it's happening already. Arkansas had the fastest percentage growth of Hispanics in the nation not too long ago. They especially have come into the northwest part of the state. They've also made inroads to areas of the state that has surprised me a bit. They've started appearing in Pine Bluff, where jobs are harder to come by and unemployment is high. They've also made it into areas of the Ozarks that have been all caucausian for decades if not over a century. But as you said it makes sense we aren't thta far away. But really I think think Hispanics have made their presence known in most parts of the country.

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Well figures recently released re-emphasizes what most of us already know. Arkansas has the fastest growing Hispanic rate in the country. From 1990 to 2007 there's been a 1,322% increase. Of course Arkansas relatively low population compared to other states helps. I know NWA and southwest Little Rock seems to be the two main concentrations in the state. Does anyone know of any others?

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