MIRA responds to House's passage of immigration bill - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

MIRA responds to House's passage of immigration bill

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By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -- The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance says they are not giving up when it comes to stopping passage of immigration reform in Mississippi.

On Friday, they spoke out against Thursday's vote on the bill in the House of Representatives.

Both the House and Senate's version would allow law enforcement to check someone's immigration status during a traffic stop or other encounter.

The differences lie in legal action.

Senate Bill 2179 says that people can sue cities, counties, or law enforcement for failure to enforce immigration laws.     

While the House's version removed this section, instead it would allow law suits against employers.

MIRA Director, Bill Chandler says in their perspective both versions promote racial profiling, and could make it difficult for any immigrant to find employment.

"Beside the racial profiling that both versions promote, it's going to make it impossible for Latinos regardless of status, whether their citizens, legally present or any situation to have a job," Chandler said.

Sole Arellano is a U.S. citizen who first came to the United States at nine years old.

She says her father would come over to the U.S. to work, and was gone almost a year at a time.

"The main reason we came to the United States, so we could always be together," Arellano said. "That way he wouldn't have to go to Mexico and just be with us for barely one month." 

Arellano is a member of MIRA, and passionate about her cause.     

She first told her story at the capitol, rallying against the Senate's passage of immigration reform.

 However, now that the house moved this legislation forward, her fear is that families will be pulled apart.

"My biggest concern is all the children will be left behind without a mother and a father."  

 The Senate debates for more than four hours over the bill, but the House brought it up during session on Thursday afternoon briefly and voted in favor of their version 80-36.

Representative Bob Evans, D-Monticello, held the bill on a motion to reconsider on Friday.

Both chambers have to agree before any legislation gets sent to the Governor.     

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