In a statement released Friday, state senator Lee Yancey (District 20- Madison and Rankin Counties) voiced concerns about illegal immigration in Mississippi. Calling the issue, “a matter of national security and public safety” he announced his filing of legislation “similar to the Arizona law combating illegal immigration.”
Yancey, a Republican and former pastor and lobbyist with the Mississippi Baptist Convention, said Arizona’s state legislature enacted Senate Bill 1070, the so-called “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”, to combat illegal immigration in their state.
See Yancey’s press release below.
Statement By Senator Lee Yancey Regarding Illegal Immigration
This session I have chosen to file legislation similar to the Arizona law combating illegal immigration. This is a matter of public safety, fiscal responsibility, and equality and fairness for all Americans and those who aspire to be Americans. Because those who support illegals have no other argument, now they cry racism.
As a matter of national security and public safety we need to know who is in our country. While most people who sneak into America are not drug dealers or terrorists, some are. Arizona has endured border violence from drug wars for years without help from the Federal government. It’s time we all stepped in to stop the violence on the border. It was only after September 11, 2001, that we learned Islamic extremists had infiltrated the state of Florida and learned how to fly passenger jets without ever bothering to learn to land. It is a matter of national security that we KNOW who is in our country.
Why even have a Border Control and Immigration and Nationalization Service if we are going to allow illegals to make a mockery of them by ignoring their presence in America. What other country in the world can you sneak into, then work and raise a family and benefit from social programs? You can’t in Europe. You can’t anywhere in Asia. Australia’s immigration policy is also very controlled. Our schools, hospitals, and prisons are already burdened with expenses and overcrowding and those of us who pull the cart are called racists by those riding in the cart.
Illegal immigration is fundamentally unfair to all those people who entered the country legally. For those of you not familiar with US immigration policy, it’s not easy to permanently immigrate to the US. But many people value our country so much they jump through all the hoops and put a lot of time and effort into being allowed to immigrate. I’m a huge supporter of immigration from all countries and all ethnicities, but illegal immigration is an offense to all those hard working immigrants who waited in line, worked hard and got their visas approved.
To compare the issue of illegal immigration to that of the Civil Rights era is ludicrous. In Mississippi, we have made great strides and continue to make great strides in race relations. I am for every citizen whether they be red, yellow, black, white, brown. But I believe our limited state funds are best spent on those who went through the proper process and came here legally.
Stopping illegal immigration is not just a “domestic policy issue” it’s a human rights issue. Every year, many Central and South Americans die and suffer horribly trying to cross the border. Perhaps the most horrible victims are the reports of Eastern European and Russian women being smuggled in and used as sex-workers. This is an issue of human rights and women’s rights. We have an obligation to protect those people from what is happening to them.
I cannot control what the federal government will do. Because of politics, the issue of illegal immigration is still with us. What I can do, however, is file a bill in the Mississippi legislature and work towards its passage.
Crime has no color. Those who sneak into the country have broken the law. We owe it to those who came here legally to enforce an equal immigration standard and enforce the law equally.