Immigration Bill Set for Debate

By: Mike McDaniel Email
By: Mike McDaniel Email

As long as House Bill 488 has life, it will face opposition from immigrant advocacy groups.

"Unfortunately, these kind of bills have unintended consequences," said Pedro Galdamez, of the Latin American Business Association.

The bill in question was written by Rep. Becky Currie and supported by Gov. Phil Bryant. It seeks to reform illegal immigration laws in Mississippi.

The bill is modeled after an Alabama law that went into effect last year and continues to be fought.

Since the bill was first filed at the state capitol, numerous groups have come out against it. Business leaders from the Hispanic and Latino communities rallied in opposition.

"The bill, HB 488, will have no positive impact whatsoever for business in our state not only regarding how it effects the Latin community but also how it affects the overall economic situation of Mississippi," Galdamez said.

Galdamez says the bill is an attack on the minority group and will only end up hurting the state's hospitality image to new business.

When the bill first started getting traction at the capitol, Bryant made it clear he would sign it if it reached his desk.

"We just simply ought to have the right, responsibility as a state," Bryant said. "If we're going to ignore this federal law, what other federal laws should be began to ignore?"

If Mississippi's version of the law actually becomes law, it may go straight to a courtroom since provisions in the Alabama law have been blocked by a court of appeals.

Among others, those provisions include requiring schools to check the immigration status of all children. The bill would also require police to check for immigration status during traffic stops.

"The psychological effects of this bill will generate fear among both documented and undocumented peoples," said Sara del Castillo of Youth United Organizers.

Advocates say reform is needed, but in its current form will do more harm than good.

"We want legislators to engage in conversation with us, because when they judge our communities without getting to know us, they do not define our communities, but they define themselves," said del Castillo..

The bill is currently in the House of Representatives awaiting debate on the floor. That's expected to happen in the next couple of days. If passed, it'll head to the Senate.

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  • by Anonymous on Mar 20, 2012 at 07:13 AM
    We Americans need to be educated more about the treatment of Mexicans in their country and how they are treated once they cross the border. Many face incredible violence from the drug cartels which are driven by the demand from our country. Children who were toddlers when they were brought over are deported and dropped off without their parents in strange unknown places. They are put in detention centers and are denied food, water, legal representation, humane treatment, etc. They are treated less than our dogs. Mexicans often do the jobs that Americans WON'T DO. They clean the nasty toilets, pick the food in snake filled fields, work on construction sites for long hours in the hot sun from before sun up and after sun down. They are often the hardest working people that contribute positively to our communities. Maybe the U.S. should put bigotry aside and look at the facts.
  • by Anonymous Location: Houston, TX on Mar 17, 2012 at 11:26 AM
    What Are YOU an english teacher...???--"We" posters Are 2 American's that have Our jobs/wages in danger due to ILLEGALS...!!!--while You sit back & "blue-sky" Your Wrong Ideas, WE comment because WE ARE being Impacted detrimentally by ILLEGALS YOU dolt...!!!!
  • by I can spell Location: Dallas, TX on Mar 15, 2012 at 09:54 AM
    Maybe we should deport both of the previous posters! Neither one of you can spell nor write in complete English sentences, showing your lack of intelligence. If you have ever been to a Mexican border town and into the country of Mexico, you would want to leave also. The daily wage is about $5! Could you support your family on that? The Cartels are killing people because of the drug abuse in the United States! They are part of the problem. And all illegals are not Mexican. What about all the Canadians, Asians, Europeans and others who over stay their travel, school or work visas?? Do you really think your Middle Eastern neighbor might be here illegally? Sure, ship all the laborers back to Mexico. Just watch the cost of your fresh food skyrocket. Trust me, they deport and deny entry to the US for those who have been here illegally. And they do it to those whose parents brought them here as a young child. Many illegals go back to a country that they have never lived in and can't even speak the language. It sometimes embarasses me to be an American because of all the idiots that live here and don't even appreciate what they have just because they were born here. I hope you fall in love with an Illegal, or your child falls in love with one. Then we can talk about Immigration when it hits your front doorsteep!
  • by rked Location: Houston, TX on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM
    my,my,my, these "advocate" groups Are runnin scared....!!!--If ya'll have just a little intelligence, You Will see the writing on the wall, start tellin the ILLEGAL majority that the Party is Over, Adios Back Across the Border & the Free Ride IS at an End...LEAVE!!!!
  • by arlie Location: meridian on Mar 13, 2012 at 08:29 PM
    keep it going iv not had a steady const job in last few years because of the illiagles.if iusd a stolen sss card and drivers liscence.they would put me in jail.what part of the law doo they not understand??they brouught this onto there selves by breaking the law..stop wining...
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