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2013 MS Legislative Proposals Include Harsh E-Verify Bill, Among Others

22 January 2013 No Comment

It’s still early to know what legislation might be introduced this year. Lawmakers have several days yet to file their proposed legislation – the deadline for filing is Monday, January 21st. We do know, however, that at least three bills related to immigration have been introduced, and several others are being drafted.

 

One anti-immigrant bill that has been introduced and assigned its number is HB-67, a punitive E-verify bill. Click here to see the full text of the bill (http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2013/pdf/HB/0001-0099/HB0067IN.pdf). This piece, authored by the ever-vigilant anti-immigrant legislator Becky Currie, expands on current E-verify law in harsh and punitive ways. The proposed changes to the existing law are the underlined text in the online PDF.

 

At last August’s public meeting on immigration, Rep Becky Currie complained loudly about the lack of E-verify enforcement. When an Attorney General Jim Hood staffperson was asked if any complaints had been made to the AG’s office, he stated that no complaints had been filed.

 

In Rep. Currie’s HB-67, the responsibility for the enforcement of E-Verify is narrowed down to two state agencies: the Secretary of State’s office, along with the Attorney General’s office. If enacted, this law would mandate heavy fines, redaction of business licenses, and public cataloging of business owners found to employee “unauthorized aliens.” Finally, it would require the Attorney General’s office to provide a process for individuals to report business owners they suspect have hired “unauthorized aliens,” and require state Law Enforcement to assist the Attorney General in investigating all such claims.

 

The two other bills already on the table, and both are authored by Rep. Currie: HB 198 (http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2013/pdf/HB/0100-0199/HB0198IN.pdf) aims to change current Human Trafficking law in such a way as to punish employers who might be transporting individuals into Mississippi for work purposes. HB 321 (http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/2013/pdf/history/HB/HB0321.xml) aims to create the “Mississippi ID Protection Act,” requiring law enforcement to take photographs during traffic stops of any person who does not provide a valid driver’s license. This bill is a clear attempt to make record of undocumented people during traffic stops.

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