Thought the SB 1070 bill was only popular in Arizona? Guess again.
Mississippi has created it’s own version of the bill, the SB 2179, which was passed in the state’s Senate on Tuesday. The measure permits law enforcement officers to check an individual’s immigration status during a traffic stop or while enforcing other laws if they feel that the person is reasonably suspicious.
Mississippi has become the first state to follow up on passing a law similar to that of Arizona’s.
Sen. Joey Fillingane, a Republican, was a chief supporter for the bill and believes it’s an extreme improvement from the SB 1070, which made the check for illegal status a secondary routine.
“We did not want anyone to go out and start picking on or racial profiling people,” Fillingane told the Clarion-Ledger.
The new legislation also makes it a state crime to be stopped and caught without immigration papers and allows law enforcement officers to arrest individuals that are “reasonably believed” to be undocumented without a warrant.
The bill is currently moving into the House as concerns are raised over Gov. Haley Barbour’s stance on the issue. In the past. Barbour noted that anti-immigration legislation is beneficial but also that he valued the contributions that immigrants have made to the state of Mississipi.
“I don’t think there’s any question that we had a tremendous number of people come in, and I have no doubt some of them weren’t here legally,” Barbour said, Fox News Latino reported. “I don’t know where we’d have been without them.”