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Pine Bluff residents react to illegal immigrants working

No shooting hoops in the gym at the Chester Hynes Community Center and this is why - half of the floors are undone because the crew who started the work is gone and reported to have entered the country illegally.
PINE BLUFF, AR - No shooting hoops in the gym at the Chester Hynes Community Center and this is why - half of the floors are undone because the crew who started the work is gone and reported to have entered the country illegally.

"We can't deal with that, being a city government entity” Angela Parker, Parks and Recreation Director said. “We can't work that way."

Parker says she didn't know the workers were here illegally until yesterday morning. A Pine Bluff Police Officer stopped one of the workers on Harding and State street for failure to yield.

The officer asked the worker for a license, who admitted he didn't have one. According to the police report, he told the officer he was doing work at the Chester Hynes Community Center along with 3 other illegal immigrants. The four men said they worked for Memphis-based Sports Floors.

"We sat down with this company,” Parker said. “They seemed to be very reputable, very respectful, reliable."

But Alderwoman Thelma Walker says she had doubts about the company in the first place, when she saw their quotes were $20,000 dollars less than the other bidders.

"The mayor said the company did good work, and they guarantee the floor and that type of thing," Walker said.

Local ministers point fingers at the mayor who authorized the company to do the work.

"When you have a city like Pine Bluff where the economic woes and the economic doldrums are as they are, city officials need to take extra steps," Resident Peter Daniels said.
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