Governor Phil Bryant believes not enough has been done locally or nationally to deal with what he calls a “massive, uncontrolled” immigration policy.
“Perhaps it’s boat-rocking time in Mississippi,” Gov. Bryant said Wednesday at the State Capitol, surrounded by other supporters of House Bill 488. [...]
“There is a way to get a temporary worker here in the U.S. The people we’re talking about don’t want to go through that process,” Gov. Bryant said.
One House committee has already approved the measure. Rep. Becky Currie (R), the bill’s sponsor, has brushed off concerns about the measure. “This is just a way of saying you’re welcome to live in our country; you’re welcome to work in our country, but be legal,” she said. “That’s all we’re asking. Be legal.”
But Currie’s legislation mirrors Alabama’s law in that it seeks to create an enviroment so hostile to undocumented immigrants that they flee the state. In Alabama, the result of that exodus could cost the state billions in GDP losses and thousands of lost jobs. With similar effects likely in Mississippi, Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, said it would hurt the state far more than it would help. He asked, “Can Mississippi afford such a law?”
Catholic bishops in Mississippi have already begun to speak out against Mississippi’s immigration legislation. “As Catholics we have a responsibility to the Gospel message to love God and love our neighbor,” Bishop Joseph Latino of the Jackson diocese said on Thursday.