MS - Tea Party blames Lt. Governor for failed immigration bill
JACKSON, Miss. -
Mississippi Tea Party representatives Tuesday blamed Lt. Governor Tate Reeves for assigning House Bill 488 to a committee where it died.
The group gave Reeves an 'F' on their legislative report card.
"Lt. Governor Reeves' actions continue to make Mississippi a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants," Mississippi Tea Party spokesman Dr. Rodney Hunt said. "I think that he had no intention of delivering any
enforcement legislation to the Senate floor for a vote."
April 18, 2012
Immigration reform topped the Mississippi Tea Party's list for lawmakers to tackle this year.
House Bill 488 would have allowed police to check out anyone they suspect is in the country illegally during a traffic stop. It never made it out of a Senate committee.
Immigrant rights supporters said they were relieved that the bill died, but they said they did not expect the issue to go away.
Governor Phil Bryant said he would have liked to see the legislation passed.
"I'm not going to say that I'm going to grade the Lt. governor of the state of Mississippi. I will say that I would have been very encouraged if that bill had passed," Bryant said.
Israel Martinez, who is working on becoming a citizen, said he was afraid of such a bill passing.
"We want to be heard, and we want to make sure that people understand our side, and we can work together finding solutions for this issue," Martinez said.
Martinez and immigrant rights advocate Bill Chandler were among those at a forum Tuesday night discussing how reform bills could affect the community.
"I think the Lt. governor realizes that there are families here, unlike the governor, who doesn't seem to understand that there are mixed families," Chandler said.
The Tea Party said they will work on a new bill for next year.
Immigrant rights supporters said they were looking to get a neutral study done on the effects of similar legislation.