Proposed Mississippi immigration law sparks debate - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Proposed Mississippi immigration law sparks debate

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Facebook

JACKSON, MS (WMC-TV) - Immigrant rights groups in Mississippi are not please after a proposed bill similar to the immigration law in Arizona.

Members of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) said they are frustrated with the state's effort to pass Senate bill 2179.

"This bill is founded on inaccurate information claiming that immigrants bring crime to Mississippi," said MIRA Director Bill Chandler.

At a rally in Jackson, Mississippi, several speakers had harsh words for the proposed bill.

"We also stand here with the understanding that the legislation that's being offered is nothing more than racial profiling," said NAACP Mississippi President Derrick Johnson.

"Just like the way African Americans were discriminated years before," said MIRA member Sole Arrellano.  "Now we are discriminated, and we're here to fight for our rights."

Lawmakers in favor of the bill said it just allows law enforcement to determine someone's immigration status.

"What we're saying is we're allowing state law enforcement officials to enforce federal laws," said Lt. Governor Phil Bryant.

Senate bill 2179 allows law enforcement to check someone's immigration status, regardless of race, if they are stopped, detained or arrested.

Members of MIRA said the issue of immigration should be decided in Washington, not the state.

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