Arkansas AG again denies illegal immigration proposal

Chris Rizo May 1, 2008, 12:00pm

Dustin McDaniel

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Legal Newsline)-For the second time, the Arkansas attorney general has rejected a proposed ballot measure that would require state agencies to verify those seeking government programs are legal U.S. residents.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, a Democrat, cited the "length and complexity" of the ballot title and language as reasons.

McDaniel previously denied the proposal for similar reasons and proponents submitted the revised version that was about 200 words shorter than the first filing.

McDaniel said ambiguities in the ballot language open the measure up to legal challenge for being too complex.

Until the measure is approved, Secure Arkansas, which is spearheading the initiative, cannot begin gathering the required 61,974 signatures needed to place the initiative on the November ballot.

The proposal would require residents at least 13-years-old to sign an affidavit that they live in the United States legally to receive local, state and certain federal public benefits that are administered by state agencies or political subdivisions.

Those found to be lying could face perjury charges, under the proposal. Exceptions to the law include emergency medical services, organ transplants, disaster relief, prenatal care and access to crisis counseling and short-term shelters.

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