Arkansas Democratic Hispanic Caucus hosted Immigration

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The Arkansas Democratic Hispanic Caucus (DHC) hosted an Immigration Forum on Saturday, February 28, 2004 at Jose's Club Latino in Little Rock. U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln; Sheila Gómez, Director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas; and Katherine Culliton, Legislative Attorney for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) participated in the well attended forum.

DHC District Director, Cesar Compadre, noted that, "the Caucus organized this forum to provide an opportunity for Arkansans to learn about important issues regarding current immigration policy. Also the forum will give citizens a chance to ask questions and voice opinions about future immigration reform. The Caucus intends to sponsor more forums in the future."

Senator Lincoln made remarks and delivered information on the latest legislation on immigration, she took several questions from the attendees. Senator Lincoln, a first term Senator from Helena, Arkansas, has served in the United States Senate since 1999. Before that, she served in the United States House of Representatives as a representative from Arkansas 1st Congressional District.

Sheila Gómez, the Director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas, spoke about immigration reform in the United States and was available for questions. Mrs. Gómez has served the state of Arkansas for many years through the Catholic Diocese. From 1993 to 1994, she worked as the Assistant Director of the Hispanic Ministry. In 1994, she became the Director of Catholic Immigration Services, and in 2001 was named the Director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas, a post she continues to hold.

Katherine Culliton, Legislative Attorney for MALDEF, traveled to Little Rock from Washington, DC to participate in the forum. Ms. Culliton's specialty at MALDEF is immigration law, and the human and civil rights of Hispanic-Americans.

The Arkansas DHC was formed in 2002 and has been working to organize throughout the state to encourage Hispanic Americans to become more involved in the Party as well as campaigns. The DHC elects eight members to the Democratic Party of Arkansas State Committee and they maintain an office in the State Party Headquarters. For more information contact: Cesar Compadre at [email protected]

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