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Lawmakers Will Soon Debate the Fairness of an Immigration Rights Bill

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 17 Jan 2011 08:42am | comments

An immigration bill passed by the Senate Judiciary A Committee could hit the full senate for a vote as early as this week. But as MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports winning full approval remains an uphill battle.

Under the senate bill a law officer who has stopped someone for a violation such as speeding or a broken tail light can also attempt to determine the persons legal status if there is reasonable suspicion. It's a practice that Governor Haley Barbour says is no different from what's already being practiced.

"They pursue it now if we stop somebody for weaving on the highway and we see marijuana on the floor we go forward and we investigate that and if it turns out to be illegal narcotics we don't just give them a ticket for weaving. We arrest them for having drugs illegally. So to me this is very consistent to what our policy is now."

While the bill is expected to make its way to a full senate vote this week, House Representative James Evans of Jackson made a special announcement during an immigration rally last week for those who may be considering the legislation.

"And I want to send a message to every senator over there, keep it in the senate when it hits the floor. Don’t send it across the aisle, we got enough heinous stuff over here already. The odor is foul."

Over the past few years lawmakers in Mississippi and elsewhere have introduced several immigration bills. Nsombi Lambright., Director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Mississippi says her organization has been against them all..

"If we look at the example of what has happened in Arizona since this law has passed it's gonna bring a lot of negativity to our states in terms of revenue coming in from tourism. how our state is viewed in the eyes of the rest of the nation."

Some reports say it could cost Mississippi upwards of 30 million dollars to support an immigration bill. MPB's Lawayne Childrey MPB News.

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