Governor seeks to "rock the boat" in support of immigration bill - - The News for South Mississippi

Governor seeks to "rock the boat" in support of immigration bill

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Governor Phil Bryant believes not enough has been done locally or nationally to deal with what he calls a "massive, uncontrolled" immigration policy.

"Perhaps it's boat-rocking time in Mississippi," Gov. Bryant said Wednesday at the State Capitol, surrounded by other supporters of House Bill 488.

The bill, introduced by Representative Becky Currie, mirrors the tougher immigration laws passed by Arizona, and more recently by Alabama.

It allows law enforcement officers to ask for a person's immigration documentation if he or she is pulled over for an offense.

Kathryn Piazza of Jackson was also there.

Piazza's father immigrated with his family to Mississippi from Lebanon, which was then called Syria, in 1911.

They were never illegal immigrants.

"I expect others to come into this country legally, or don't come," Piazza said. 

Piazza says it is possible to gain U.S. citizenship, it just takes effort.

Governor Bryant agrees.

"There is a way to get a temporary worker here in the U.S. The people we're talking about don't want to go through that process," Gov. Bryant said.

Bishop Joseph Latino of the Catholic Diocese of Jackson says even undocumented individuals have rights under the U.S. Constitution, and he believes states should not interfere.

"It infringes on the rights people have to the right of life, liberty," Bishop Latino said. "I think the Federal Government has the responsibility with regards to immigrants who came to this country, the rules and regulations that are imposed on immigrants."

Governor Bryant believes House Bill 488 will get plenty of support in the Mississippi legislature.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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