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Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Outlines It’s2014 Legislative Agenda

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 22 Jan 2014 06:50pm | comments

Workers Comp and education are just two of the issues that members of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance are highlighting in their 2014 legislative agenda. MPB's Lawayne Childrey  reports.

A single Latin guitar player lead about About fifty members of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance and their supporters into the 2nd floor rotunda of the Mississippi State Capitol yesterday. Jaribu Hill, Executive Director at the Mississippi Center for Human Rights says one of their main goals is to ask lawmakers to support bills designed to offer more compensation for injured workers including immigrant workers.

"A lot of people are depending on workers compensation. And how dare they only offer eight and a half years of coverage if your injured, permanently injured for the rest of your life? How are you going to feed your family after the eight and a half years?

MIRA Executive Director, Bill Chandler is also urging lawmakers to avoid immigration legislation similar to what's already in place in Alabama and Arizona.   

"Much of Alabama's proposal has been declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court and the same thing with Arizona. Does Mississippi wanna spend a lot of money defending a racists law? Or do they wanna welcome immigrants which are augmenting our economy in a tremendous way."

In addition, the group is asking lawmakers to approve in-state college tuition for children who graduate from high school in Mississippi after being brought to the U.S. by parents who lack proper immigration documents. Representative, Cecil Brown of Jackson says 15 states have already adopted similar provisions.

"And yet at this point in the state of Mississippi children of undocumented immigrants who graduated from our high schools, who passed the ACT test, who are admitted to our state universities have to pay an increased tuition, out of state tuition to go to our colleges. It is not right it is not fair."

MIRA's requests are likely to be met with skepticism in a conservative state where Republican Gov. Phil Bryant has long expressed concern about what he sees as lax enforcement of federal immigration laws. Lawayne Childrey, MPB News.

 

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