SID SALTER: Immigration remains a political lightning rod

But Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant went on record opposing the state of Mississippi serving as a venue to house the nearly 60,000 unaccompanied mostly Central American immigrant children who entered the U.S. illegally in the past year. Bryant told Obama in a letter: “We simply do not have the resources, the location in which to house children that come here and do not speak our language, have no relatives in Mississippi.”

Efforts to enact draconian state-level immigration laws in Mississippi have met with resistance from city and county governments who have called get-tough immigration laws “unfunded mandates” on local taxpayers.

Education is an issue that is also intertwined with immigration. With the Legislature facing an ongoing initiative effort that seeks to force lawmakers to “fully fund” the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for K-12 education, the reality is that immigrant children are part of the mix that led to the results of a 2010 Southern Education Foundation report that found that the South has become the “first region in the country where more than half of public school students are poor and more than half are members of minorities.”

The report noted that 54 percent of Mississippi’s 513,000 public school students were from minority groups – including African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other non-white groups

Daily Journal
8/24/14