Illegal immigrants say they want a better future for their families

Ask anyone running for former U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker’s seat what’s the top issue facing north Mississippi, and almost all will reply “illegal immigration.”

They say it’s the most cited concern among voters in the 1st District, and it’s the first job many of the candidates say they’ll tackle if elected to Congress.

“I’m hearing more about illegal immigration than anything else,” said Democratic contender and state Rep. Steve Holland. “All of us are.”

A long way from Mexico
But this is north Mississippi, where the closest point to Mexico lies more than 800 miles to the south and the closest point to Canada more than 750 to the north.

But distance doesn’t matter, said Republican candidate and Southaven Mayor Greg Davis: “Illegal immigration is definitely as big a problem in Mississippi as it is in Texas or California.”

He should know. DeSoto County, where Southaven sits, experienced one of the state’s biggest waves of both legal and illegal immigrants in the 1990s with a gain of 579 percent.

NE MS Daily Journal
3/9/8