Friday, March 30, 2012

Mississippi Can’t Afford Alabama’s Mistake


Say NO to HB 488!

By Cathy Montoya, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

A recent study from the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama found that because of HB56 (Alabama’s new immigration law), Alabama’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) could shrink by up to $10.8 billion.  Prof. Addy estimates that a loss of 40,000 to 80,000 unauthorized immigrants who earn between $15,000 and $35,000 annually could result in: • 70,000 to 140,000 lost jobs;• $2.3 to $10.8 billion reduction in Alabama GDP, or 1.3 to 6.2 percent of the state’s $172.6 billion GDP in 2010;• $57 to $264 million loss in state income and sales tax collections; and• $20 to $93 million loss in local sales tax collections.

Can Mississippi afford such a law?

House Bill 488:  “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act.” by Reps. Becky Currie, Arnold, Boyd, Brown (20th), Carpenter, Chism, Formby, Gipson, Huddleston (15th), Massengill, Monsour, Moore, Staples, Turner, Zuber. Referred to House Judiciary B & Education Committees. In it’s opening paragraph it states  that “the intent  of this act is to make attrition through enforcement the public policy of all state agencies and local governments in Mississippi.” Is this not ethnic cleansing?

HB488 includes:• State mandated racial profiling – if during a lawful stop, arrest of detention, any law enforcement official, be they municipal or state, if such official has reasonable suspicion that individual is residing in the United States without authorization, the official will make a reasonable attempt to determine.• Undermining the education of all students in Mississippi – schools will determine the resident status of children at the time of enrollment, and then collect and compile such data.  • State elimination of local control – no government entity shall restrict a government official from providing or maintaining information regarding peoples’ immigration status for purposes of certain official business.  No government employee shall limit or restrict the enforcement of federal immigration law.  • State interference with business – all must prove their authorized resident status before making any transaction with any municipal or MS state entity (automobile-related, business license).• Tying the hands of law enforcement – mandates that law enforcement must verify immigration status when making a warrantless arrest.  • Hampers business – requires employers to federally verify new employees and keep records for at least three years, while granting the authority to any government entity to bring sanctions or seek penalties against businesses for hiring unauthorized foreign nationals.
Mississippi has the opportunity to keep moving forward or to return to its dark past. We urge the legislature to vote NO on HB488!. . .Urgent Request for Funds!Can you help the struggle against HB488?MIRA's continued fight against against this legislation is depleting our resources.
Since the takeover of the entire state government by public officials who want to drive immigrants, and particularly Hispanics, out of our state, we have been engaged in an intense battle to defeat their efforts.

You can see the work we've been doing in what you've read in the previous issues of MIRA Weekly Action. You may also have received our emergency communications, so you know what immigrants are up against.

The struggle to protect and expand the rights of immigrant workers in Mississippi depends on your support. Your contributions are vital.

URGENT! Please donate now.
Send donations to:
Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance (MIRA)P.O. Box 1104Jackson, MS  39215-1104601-968-5182 (voice)601-968-5183 (fax)b.chandler@yourmira.org

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