Mississippi’s proposed immigration laws have already created a wave of backlash among concerned state residents and immigration advocates.
Approximately 100 people, including a number of small children, gathered in Jackson, Mississippi, on February 22 in protest of the bill.
“The intent of the bill is to drive people out of Mississippi, Latinos in particular. And we call that ethnic cleansing,” Bill Chandler, director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, said during the protest rally in the capitol.
The bill is currently sponsored by 15 House members. Currently under debate in the House Judiciary B and House education committees, the bill will move to the full Mississippi house if it is pushed forward by both committees.
The chief sponsor of the bill, U.S. Representative Becky Currie, said she created the law to promote a more legal path to residency in the state. Although many that are opposed to the bill believe it will create major labor shortages, Currie believes that the state’s large agricultural industry will remain intact.
However, not all Mississippi government officials are for the bill. U.S. Representative Steve Holland stopped by the rally to personally state his opposition to the bill.
“I’m not going to throw anybody out – red, yellow, black or white,” Holland said to the crowd.
In a recent Huffington Post article, New York University’s co-directors of Immigration Studies, Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco and Carola Suarez-Orozco utilized a number of immigration reports to show how misguided and outdated many immigration services and viewpoints are. While GOP presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich has said that immigrants tend to stay stuck within their linguistic-group “ghettos,” several reports from linguists have shown that children of today’s immigrant populations are learning English faster than previous waves of immigrants.