Municipal League concerned about immigration bill's costs - - Jackson, MS

Municipal League concerned about immigration bill's costs

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By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi Municipal League is denouncing the immigration bill 2179 that passed the state senate.

George Lewis, Executive Director, says nowhere in the bill did it mention how local law enforcement would receive funding for training to check someone's immigration status.

"We don't know how it will impact our local law enforcement as far as expanded responsibility and man power and this kind of thing and what they may cost," Lewis said.

The MML held a rally at the state capitol Wednesday discussing this very issue, asking lawmakers not to pass any unfunded government mandates on local municipalities.

"We're making ends meet as it is, and if we don't have the money to make up these differences on issues that could be forced on us, it puts a further strain on us," Municipal League President Charley Dumas said.

This strain trickles down to local city employees.

The MML says when state or federal mandates are issued without a means to supplement those funds, the result could even be layoffs.

David Nichols, Mayor of Monticello, says they have already seen the strain on local law enforcement.

"The state used to provide us our accident reports our ticket books things like that," Nichols said. "That way when you got a ticket from the state of Mississippi it was a uniform traffic ticket. It's still that way, but now the cities have to pay for all those supplies."    

The Municipal League says when state or federal unfunded mandates get tossed on cities to pick up the cost, often they have no choice but to raise property taxes to fund the mandate.

Meantime, Lewis says he anticipates the state house will consider their needs with the immigration bill.

"We'd certainly be supportive of a good equitable fair immigration bill," Lewis said. "But we think that law that's moving along will be reshaped considerably in the House."

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