Arkansas State Immigration Laws
Welcome to FindLaw's page on immigration laws in Arkansas. Below, you will find information on rules in the state about immigration checks by law enforcement.
- Law enforcement and immigration in Arkansas
- Employment and immigration
- Arkansas E-Verify requirements
- Driver's license/ID requirements
- Public benefits restrictions
- Education tuition
- Voting ID rules
- Housing ordinances and immigration
- Related resources
- Contact an immigration attorney
A federal program once required all arrestees' names to enter a database. This program was "Secure Communities." The database checked immigration statuses. Former President Donald Trump renewed the program by executive order in 2017. But President Joe Biden revoked that executive order in 2021.
The new program only requires that convicts' names go into the system. The system shares information with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may also have access. Immigrants without documentation should remain aware of how information may and can be collected and shared among agencies and departments of the federal government.
Refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules and the requirements for Form I-9.
Arkansas has no requirement to use E-Verify to check employees' statuses.
Must show proof of citizenship or legal residence.
Under federal law, illegal immigrants may not get most public benefits. But they can get emergency services, health care, and other programs that are "necessary to protect life and safety."
Arkansas does not allow students without documentation to pay in-state tuition. But this does not apply to DACA recipients. For example, the University of Arkansas extends this benefit to DACA recipients. DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It protects eligible young adults from deportation after their parents brought them to the United States as children. It also gives these young adults work authorization for limited periods.
As a conservative state, Arkansas's policies on in-state tuition benefits for students living here illegally tend to resemble those of other red states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kansas, and Arizona. These policies differ from more liberal states like Colorado, New York, and New Jersey. At Arkansas schools, immigrants without documentation must be DACA recipients to pay in-state tuition.
Voters must show a non-photo ID at the polling place. Examples include a signed voter ID card, driver's license, or current utility bill (with name and address).
There are no special housing ordinances for immigrants in Arkansas.
- Know Your Rights — A guide to protecting yourself and your family during immigration raids
- Immigration to Arkansas — Resources for immigrants in Arkansas (U.S. Immigration Support)
- Arkansas Immigrant Defense — As one of the many non-profit organizations in the state, this group offers free or low-cost advocacy services to immigrants and migrants.
Legal assistance is available if you are struggling with any immigration-related issue. You might seek employment authorization through a green card to pursue lawful permanent residency. You might be in the naturalization process and becoming a U.S. citizen. Perhaps you're appearing before a federal court or immigration court or going before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).
An attorney who offers immigration services can help with any of these situations and more. If you can't afford an attorney, many attorneys pro bono. Working pro bono means that attorneys offer legal services for free. If you need referrals for attorneys, you could also contact the Arkansas State Bar Association. It can offer referrals for free. Whether you're in Springdale, Fayetteville, or elsewhere in the state, it's important to find an immigration attorney who can help you navigate your immigration-related situation.
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Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.