Lawmakers Consider New Immigration Law

By: Mike McDaniel Email
By: Mike McDaniel Email

The spotlight of controversy shining on Alabama last year over immigration laws is now shifting its focus across state lines. A piece of legislation has been proposed to enact a Mississippi law similar to Alabama's.

"It is something that Mississippi needs to look at," said Rep. Becky Currie of Brookhaven, who introduced the bill.

If passed, new laws will require legal identification for anyone who may be pulled over during a traffic stop and also require legal documents like birth certificates and immunization records for school children.

"This is just a way of saying you're welcome to live in our country; you're welcome to work in our country, but be legal," said Currie. "That's all we're asking. Be legal."

Some people are not buying that argument and are coming out against the bill. The Southern Poverty Law Center, based in Alabama, is leading the fight against it.

"The anti-immigrant, really anti-Latino nature of this law has brought out the worst in folks in our state, emboldening racism and hate," said
Mary Bauer, the center's legal director.

Bauer claims Mississippi will face many of the same problems as Alabama, with children being pulled from schools, legal populations of minority groups leaving and a loss of millions, if not billions in economic development.

"It's impossible to calculate the losses of the businesses who will look elsewhere because of this law, because they don't want their foreign personnel to have to live in a state with such a law," Bauer said.

Currie says the bill is not a form of racism or profiling and won't set the state back in the area of development. She says it's simply a way to give legal residents the opportunity for jobs currently held by those who are illegal.

"For us to spend millions and millions of dollars on people who came here illegally, possibly stole Social Security numbers, you know, at what point are we going to stop?" said Currie.

If the bill passes, the SPLC says it will challenge it in federal court. Meanwhile, there's also a bill in the Mississippi Senate which would prohibit illegals from receiving financial aid from state universities and colleges. Both bills are currently in committees.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by James on Feb 16, 2012 at 01:53 PM
    Hope they pass the law . If want to come here and work do it the right way . We need stand up to liberals and take our county back.
  • by MS born and raised Location: kemper on Feb 16, 2012 at 04:59 AM
    I think this is a great thing,take the coal mine for instance they were to hire people from the area and they have brought people from tx,la,ga,nc,sc,their are a lot of young men and women who have applied for jobs out there and have not heard a thing from them instead they bring all these other people into our state and a lot of them are not us citizens,their are more drugs in our area now because of that....THAT IS NOT RIGHT....KBR and the other company's need to drug test these people they are bringing into OUR community and fire them send them back to where they came and hire people who don't do drugs and want and need a job in MS.
    • reply
      by AMEN on Feb 16, 2012 at 10:12 AM in reply to MS born and raised
      AMEN.... that coal plant has been nothing but a freaking disaster. Bringing all those trashy meth heads in living in their camper trailers out there on HWY 493.
  • by Maurice on Feb 16, 2012 at 04:57 AM
    This is such a simple debate, it's just common sense. If I do something illegal, I pay a price for my illegal deed. If you are in this country illegaly, you get caught, you go back. If I get stopped by police, I have to show proper identification. Being here illegaly should not give you rights I don't have myself. Southern Poverty Law group should be disbared, They are a disgrace to the legal system. This is so simple, It's against the law, If you don't like the law, work to change it but, until that happends, it is still against the law.
  • by bearhunter on Feb 15, 2012 at 06:05 PM
    Illegal is illegal, bottom line. And we can't make exceptions for anchor babies. Work visas are available and. Hat way their documented and legal to work. And that typical rhetoric hollering behind the shield of WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN. This is about right and wrong and prevention of illegal votes and government hand outs and keeping people safe from sickness that could be prevented with proper immunization. Life is tuff but things can be achieved in time. Just not as fast as everyone would like.
  • by SPRITE Location: MERIDIAN on Feb 15, 2012 at 05:14 PM
    People who live outside Mississippi need to stay out of Mississippi business. (law center) Let Mississippi people figure out what we need. That's why we elected these people to do. Bearhunter > agree with a lot of what you say.
  • by SMH on Feb 15, 2012 at 05:12 PM
    I've traveled several times outside the United States. I have to show a passport at the airport when I enter a foreign country, and I may be asked to produce that ID at any time while I'm there. I understand that country wants to know who is there and why. Why do some people consider it "wrong" for the U.S. or individual states to do this?
  • by concerned Location: meridian on Feb 15, 2012 at 04:55 PM
    I strongly disagree with this. I am an american citizen but happened to have 1 of my 5 children in mexico. I have tried for over a year to get him legal and still havent heard anything. Y make the kids suffer cuz their parents brought them here or had them here. Just dont give them government help and let them work. And landlords should only let one family live in their place instead of 2 or more families in one house. Alot of the citizens here dont wanna work thats why the others have the job. Wish people would really quit bein so judgemental toward this issue.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 19, 2012 at 06:02 PM in reply to concerned
      How come you have 5 children & why did you go to Mexico to have one in the first place? More importantly why did you come back?
  • by bearhunter on Feb 15, 2012 at 04:29 PM
    There go the arrogant liberals and minorities crying racism again. People from other countries can work here if they have a work visa, and then they have to pay taxes. If kids don't have their shots then they need to be pulled from school. All the responsible people of this country is for people to obay the law not make exceptions for some. Try going to another country without a passport and proper id. The truth behind all these stupid liberal, Democrats crying racism, is they need their illegal votes to keep them in office so they can further destroy are constitution and bring us closer to a one world government. Get ready people this country may pop like a zit.
    • reply
      by cw on Feb 16, 2012 at 08:35 AM in reply to bearhunter
      BEARHUNTER FOR PRESIDENT. I agree, you sound like a man with some common sense.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Feb 27, 2012 at 03:08 PM in reply to cw
        Common Sense? Really? Doesn't sound like any of you have any of that! Don't speak on a topic that you know nothing about and don't act like you do. Unless you have studies the subject and went deeper into it than the fact that just because your American you think your better than ever one else, then don't say anything at all. It just makes you look stupid. And before some idiot says that I am saying this because I must be an illegal let me enlighten you that I am white, not Latino.
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