Archive for April, 2012

Immigration bill’s chances in Senate committee don’t look good

April 2nd, 2012 2 comments

The House bill that would enact several layers of illegal immigration reform, including requiring state and local law enforcement agencies to take a more active role in preventing it, faces a Tuesday deadline to make it out of the Senate Judiciary B Committee.

It doesn’t sound like it will.

Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, chairman of Jud B, said at Monday’s meeting of the Stennis Capitol Press Corps that the bill, House Bill 488, tries to solve a problem best handled by the federal government.

“It appears to instruct police and sheriff’s deputies on how to do their job,” Bryan said. “I agree illegal immigration is a serious problem, but I also think it’s a federal issue.”

Bryan would not say if he would bring the bill up in his committee Tuesday — and believe me, I tried to get him to say one way or the other — but it sounds like he will not. “Given what’s on the (federal) books, is this an efficient way to deal with the problem? I question whether this particular remedy is the best way to handle it.”

Several business groups and law enforcement organizations have signaled their opposition to the bill, which is one of Gov. Phil Bryant’s legislative priorities, saying it acts as an unfunded mandate and has the potential to do major harm to small businesses and to the state‚Äôs agriculture sector. Farm Bureau has also come out against it.

If it doesn’t make it out of Jud B tomorrow, it won’t be gone for good. It’s already been attached as an amendment to another bill so the issue will stick around at least a little while longer.