Mississippians voice immigration law concerns - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Mississippians voice immigration law concerns

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By David Kenney - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Right here in Mississippi, the temporary injunction halting Arizona's immigration law is being praised Thursday by immigration advocates.

Although parts of Arizona's law were eliminated just hours before it went into effect, some residents of the Magnolia State are saying it still allows for discrimination.  Their fear is that a similar bill could be passed in the state.

Members of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA) said the Arizona law still targets people of color, allowing for racial discrimination.

Rallying at the capitol, their single hope is to stop a similar bill from being passed there.

"They're targeting immigrants.  Immigration was the center of everybody's problems.  The economy's so bad right now, everybody wants to blame somebody.  Everybody is pointing at the easy target, immigrants," said Ulises Hernandez, organizer for MIRA.

MIRA Director Bill Chandler who led the rally said, "What it represents in terms of other states in particular Mississippi, passing similar legislation that touts racial profiling and victimizes particularly Latinos, but all immigrants."

MIRA representatives said Arizona's law still has provisions making employers responsible for any possible illegal immigrants they may hire, and anyone who gives a ride to an illegal immigrant could be charged with human trafficking. 

Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant disagreed.  He drew loud cheers in his support for the legislation as he shared his tough stance on immigration at the Neshoba County Fair, promising to pass a bill like Arizona's in the coming year.

Before a cheering crowd Bryant said, "If the Obama administration wants to file another lawsuit, let it be here in Mississippi.  What they're saying ladies and gentlemen is we're not going to do our job securing our borders, and we're not going to let you try it."

Bryant said he plans to discuss immigration law Monday at 6:30 p.m. during a meeting in Madison.

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