MIRA holds rally against immigration reform - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MIRA holds rally against immigration reform

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By Ashley Conroy - bio | email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance held a rally at the state capitol on Wednesday to try to stop passage of a bill similar to Arizona's immigration reform measure.

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

Senate Bill 2179 would allow law enforcement official to check immigration status of anyone, regardless of race, who is lawfully, stopped, detained, or arrested.

If a person has a Mississippi driver's license, a valid Mississippi identification card, a valid tribal enrollment or other means to proof of "legal presence" then the person would be presumed a citizen.

However, Chandler says this measure could create "racial profiling" from law enforcement who are not trained properly.

"This law wastes law enforcement resources, and diverts police attention away from addressing serious crime." said MIRA Director, Bill Chandler.

Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant says the bill is designed to enforce federal laws at the state level.

"Just as local law enforcement would help enforce other federal laws kidnapping, bank robbing, even espionage," Bryant said. "They're going to be able to assist in the enforcement of immigration laws, that's as simple as it is."

MIRA member and former undocumented immigrant, Sole Arrellano says she is frustrated with the proposed legislation.

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

The Senate is expected to bring SB 2179 up for a vote the week of the 17th.

View SB 2179 here.

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