Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Mississippi State Senate passes Arizona-style Immigration Law

On Tuesday, Mississippi followed in the steps of Arizona when the state Senate passed a measure that would allow law enforcement officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws if there is reason to suspect that they are in the country illegally.

As previously reported in La Plaza, Bill Chandler, the director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA), heavily criticized the bill and suggested it could lead to racial profiling.

“Latinos are the new target,” Chandler said. “Many of these bills are based on false perception.”

The controversial legislation passed in the state Senate by 34 votes with 15 rejecting their support after an extended four hour long debate.

Republican Sen. Joey Fillingane of Sumrall, the main sponsor of SB 2179, claims the bill would be an improvement over Arizona’s SB 1070 because law enforcement officers would be able to inquire about a person’s status only while in the course of enforcing other laws, making such a check a “secondary status.”

Fillingane told the Clarion-Ledger, “We did not want anyone to go out and start picking on or racial profiling people.”

Gov. Haley Barbour told Fox News Latino, that enforcing immigration laws were certainly valuable, though he did recognized the value that immigrants have helped helped generate in his state.

“I don’t think there’s any question that we had a tremendous number of people come in, and I have no doubt some of them weren’t here legally,” Barbour said, “I don’t know where we’d have been without them.”

The bill now moves to the Mississippi House and will need to be voted on in order to pass out of committee.

The State Column

Clarion Ledger

Latino Fox News

Color Lines