Immigration bill concerns Kentucky's Latino community

The Lexington Herald-LeaderJanuary 24, 2011 

Faced with the possibility that state lawmakers might pass a bill to crack down on illegal immigrants, more than 100 people, mostly Latinos, turned out Sunday to learn more about the measure.

Many of the answers they received did nothing to relieve their anxiety.

"There is a sense of fear, a sense of rejection in the Latino community about this bill," said Andrés Cruz, editor and publisher of La Voz, an English/Spanish newspaper with a circulation of 10,000 that reports on Central Kentucky's Latin American community. "To me, the bill is simply political pandering."

Cruz and Marilyn Daniel, a volunteer attorney for Maxwell Street Legal Clinic, held a two-hour informational meeting about the controversial bill at the Lexington Public Library.

During the meeting, the group also learned about a rally at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 8 at the Capitol in Frankfort to oppose the legislation.

The Republican-controlled Senate approved the bill earlier this month; the Democratic-controlled House is to consider it when the legislative session resumes next week.

House leaders have said the House is unlikely to approve the bill. They compare it to Arizona's tough immigration law, which is being challenged in court.

The sponsor of Senate Bill 6, Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, said Kentucky should approve the bill before neighboring states pass strict immigration laws and the Bluegrass State becomes a haven for illegal immigrants.

Williams is running for governor this year.

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