America's Voice En Español »

America's Voice

 

Mississippi’s Anti-Immigrant Bill Is Dead for the Session

 

mississippi lawLate Tuesday night, the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger posted a listing of the bills that were still alive in the Mississippi legislature — and what bills were dead. And fortunately, the anti-immigrant bill, HB 488, made the “dead” list:

Immigration: House Bill 488 would’ve required police or deputies to report to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement every time they arrest someone they suspect of being in the country illegally.

That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a “last-ditch effort” to keep HB 488 alive, led by Rep. Andy Gipson, R-Braxton, who chairs House Judiciary Committee B. But Braxton’s scheme appears unlikely to work, according to the Clarion-Ledger.

Joey Kennedy, from The Birmingham News, provided this analysis — it’s vintage Joey Kennedy:

As bad as our Legislature is, I never thought I’d have to say that even Mississippi’s Legislature is smarter than ours. But it is, at least where immigration policy is concerned.

Mississippi was ahead of Alabama on immigration reform, already requiring employers to use E-Verify, the federal system that tells employers whether a new hire is eligible to work in this country. This year, some far-right lawmakers put up an Alabama-style, harsh, overreaching immigration bill. It passed the Mississippi House before screeching to a halt in the Senate.

The reason given: Senators wanted to wait for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Arizona’s overreaching law. That’s smart. They won’t have to pay to fight the law in court. Alabama lawmakers, of course, couldn’t wait on the Supreme Court before showing the country and world how mean our state could be. HB 56 passed last year, making every part of an immigrant’s life miserable and, at the same time, destroying Alabama’s reputation as a tolerant state that welcomes international investment and business. There’s no telling how much our stubborn xenophobia will cost, because we’ll never know what lists we were scratched off of before a search even got started