A bill that is coming up before the Mississippi Legislature could make it every law officer’s responsibility to check immigration status, reports a NYC Criminal Lawyer.
Senators passed a bill (34 to 15) that would grant police officers the power the check immigration status of anyone they pull over, or stop at a traffic stop. The Police Chief stated that they already do so if they have a reasonable suspicion and that they work with ICE when that happens. ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, is the federal agency usually in charge of immigration matters.
Mississippi Senators want to pass the law so that they can prevent an immigration problem. They believe that more eyes and ears looking out for illegal immigrants can help to eliminate the problem.
The Chief of Police says that the Sheriff’s depart already determines immigration status before booking someone in jail, and states he only has one issue with making the immigration checks mandatory. He spoke about priorities, and what happens when something comes up that is a higher priority than immigration.
There is opposition to the bill. Naturalized Mexican Americans are protesting because they feel like it leads to racial profiling. Some feel that the police will not target anyone else other than the Hispanic. Others feel like they have a right to be in this country because they take the jobs that no one else will take.
The bill must still go through Mississippi’s House, where it will likely face more opposition than it did in the Senate, before becoming a bill.
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If you feel like you or a friend or family member has faced immigration problems, contact a New York Criminal Attorney. A New York Criminal Attorney can help you review the law, and fight for your rights in your time of need.