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Posted on 03-16-2012
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Is Mississippi About to Make a Costly Mistake on Immigration?
“If we pass this bill, it will set Mississippi back 60 years. Let us show America we are not the narrow-minded people they say we are.”


Seth Hoy

HB 488, saying that “a crackdown is urgently needed” and that “perhaps it’s boat-rocking time in Mississippi.” Really, Gov. Bryant? By “boat-rocking” do you mean “budget-rocking?” The state of Mississippi is facing a $634 million budget deficit in FY2012, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Clearly, as demonstrated by nearly every other state that passed similar immigration measures, these laws are as costly to defend and implement as they are on state industries.

Arizona has lost 2,800 jobs, more than $1 million in legal fees and a whopping $490 million in tourism revenue due to SB 1070.
The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Association said that nearly $300 million worth of crops and 11,000 agricultural jobs are at risk due to their state’s immigration law.
South Carolina’s immigration law SB 20 came with a $1.3 million price tag, not counting the cost of defending or implementing the law, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

But none of these fiscal impacts are of concern to Mississippi legislators, who apparently voted NOT to attach a fiscal note to HB 488.

All of this begs the question, can Mississippi really afford to follow in the same fiscal footsteps as these other states? And why, after the countless legal challenges, enjoinments, and fiscal and political fallout in other states, do Mississippi lawmakers want a bill like this? Is this really the reputation Mississippi wants to present to the country? To possible foreign business investors?

As Mississippi state Rep. Sonya Williams-Barnes (D-Gulfport) put it:
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