Friday, March 1, 2024

Mississippi Official Calls Proposed AZ-style Law a Burden

A proposed law before the Mississippi legislature that is similar to Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070 could be a “burden” to law enforcement agencies in the state according to the head of the Mississippi Department of Public Safety (MDPS).

During a Tuesday hearing of the Senate Judiciary A Committee, MDPS Commissioner Stephen Simpson declined to take a stance on the proposal but said there are costs associated with detaining suspected undocumented immigrants, holding hearings for them and transporting them to federal facilities.

Like the Arizona law, Senate Bill 2179 requires police to check the status of people while enforcing other laws if there is reason to suspect they are in the country illegally.

Critics have blasted the law saying it would lead to racial profiling.

“This bill is founded on inaccurate information claiming that immigrants bring crime to Mississippi,” said Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) Director Bill Chandler.

The committee has attempted to appease critics by adding language that would prevent racial profiling and protect churches that aid undocumented immigrants, but immigrant’s rights advocates say the issue should be handled at the federal level.

“Now we are discriminated, and we’re here to fight for our rights,” said MIRA member Sole Arrellano.

The legislation is still pending, and no vote has been taken.

Picayune Item