Despite the fact that Republican Gov. Haley Barbour has try to steer the discussion of illegal immigration in Mississippi to more constructive solutions, the Mississippi Senate on Tuesday passed 34-15 an Arizona-style immigration law enforcement bill that is certainly not constructive.
The bill would allow Mississippi law enforcement officers during a traffic stop or other legal detention to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Barbour has said that he believes it to be reasonable to allow local law enforcement to ask the immigration status of anyone in those circumstances.
But Barbour has since 2005 been quick to remind Mississippians that immigration isn’t a major issue in the state and has paid tribute to the role of immigrants in helping the state dig out after Hurricane Katrina. In December, Barbour told Fox News: “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. I don’t know where we’d have been without them.”