A bill is headed to the governor's desk that bans Mississippi universities and communities from harboring undocumented immigrants. The goal is to prevent sanctuary cities from cropping-up.
Senate Bill 2710 says Mississippi universities, community and junior colleges, state agencies, counties and cities cannot create policies that protect undocumented immigrants. The bill ensures law enforcement is not prevented from asking anyone about their immigration status. Some have called the City of Jackson a sanctuary city because of its anti-profiling ordinance. But, officials have said in the past it's not one. Republican Senator Sean Tindell of Gulfport, authored the bill.
"You know, you look at the City of Jackson, instituted a policy whereby law enforcement wasn't allowed to inquire about somebody's immigration status when they were stopped and you know I don't think politicians should be getting in the way of law enforcement doing their job," said Tindell.
Democratic Senator Derrick Simmons of Greenville, believes the sanctuary cities is a "non-issue" in Mississippi. There are no sanctuary cities in the state. He doesn't think law enforcement is hampered in doing its job right now.
"I think the Sanctuary Cities Bill is a bill that was just completely unnecessary. It's anti-immigration legislation that we don't need. Certainly now that we are under a Trump administration we're going to see more anti-immigration policies," said Simmons.
The bill doesn't require citizens to report undocumented immigrants. Governor Phil Bryant released a statement saying he appreciate's the legislature's work on Senate Bill 2710 and he looks forward to signing it. The bill goes into effect immediately after it's signed.