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Senate debating controversial immigration bill

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate is debating a bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration.

Lengthy discussion was expected today, and several supporters are watching from galleries in the Senate chamber.

The bill says a law enforcement officer would be allowed to check a person’s immigration status if the officer suspects the person might be in the United States illegally. The status checks could come during traffic stops or other encounters.

Supporters say the bill would help keep out people who are living or working in the U.S. without proper documents.

Opponents say the bill amounts to xenophobic, election-year pandering.

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