The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Mississippi Lawmaker Introduces Alabama-Style Anti-Immigrant Bill

By Heidi Beirich on February 14, 2012 - 3:39 pm, Posted in Anti-Immigrant

The Mississippi lawmaker who today introduced anti-immigrant legislation modeled after Alabama’s disastrous HB 56 is a member of a network of legislators that has embraced a raft of beliefs and conspiracy theories that currently animate radical-right extremists.

Rep. Becky Currie is one of about 65 members of State Legislators for Legal Immigration, or SLLI, in 40 states. SLLI was founded in 2007 by Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, an anti-immigrant hardliner who has written on SLLI’s website that “the personal and economic safety” of all Americans is threatened by “the ongoing invasion of illegal aliens.” He has  compared the situation to that facing the colonies during the American Revolution.

SLLI’s members have promoted conspiracy theories about supposed government concentration camps and a coming one-world government, as well as false claims that President Obama is a foreigner and a Muslim. Some have described undocumented immigrants in vicious terms – as “invaders” or as a “poison.”

SLLI highlights the fact that it has a “working partnership” with the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), which has been listed as a hate group by the SPLC since 2007 for its white nationalist agenda and ties to racist groups. FAIR lawyers draft much of the anti-immigrant legislation pushed by SLLI members. FAIR’s demonizing propaganda, aimed primarily at Latinos and often Catholics; its ties to other hate groups and its hiring of their members; and its push for laws promoting racial discord all have been instrumental in fostering the anti-immigrant backlash that has swept the nation.

FAIR lawyer Kris Kobach, who also serves as Kansas’ secretary of state, has authored many of the anti-immigrant proposals put forward by SLLI members. Kobach also wrote laws for several small communities, including Hazelton, Pa., and Farmer’s Branch, Texas, that fostered racial strife in those communities, harmed their economies and left them saddled with substantial legal bills.

Kobach is also the author of Alabama’s HB 56, which has created a humanitarian disaster. Children have been removed from school and denied access to food stamps, and countless immigrants have lost access to various government services such as water.

The law created by Kobach and FAIR law has devastated Alabama’s economy. A recent economic analysis estimates that the law will shrink the state’s economy by $2.3 billion to $10.8 billion – and the state stands to lose up to $265 million in income and sales tax revenue. Farmers have watched their crops rot in the fields as farmworkers – regardless of immigration status – have left the state rather than live under the law. Alabama’s business reputation also suffered after police detained foreign employees of Mercedes-Benz and Honda who were in the country legally. Mercedes and Honda are two major employers in Alabama.

Alabama has already made the mistake of passing HB 56, which many legislators now acknowledge needs major revisions. Does Mississippi really want to follow Alabama down this disastrous path?

  • Guardian

    There is a reason liberals feel the need to play the race card every time they are faced with an opposing viewpoint. The race card is the last desperate move of a failing argument. Pathetic!

  • jim

    itsa shame, it really is a shame that we still cant live in this world together as different races and beliefs, it seems like the white race cant live with other races in the mix. maybe or its already happening that mexicans would treat the white americans the same way as the mexicans and central americans are treated in Alabama or, any other state of this country, its shame that a mother couldnt buy milk and food for her young ones just because she is illegal status, which it doesnt make her a criminal , shes still a human-being. its a shame.

  • Sam Molloy

    How could any group of people hurt a state as wretched and backwards as Mississippi?

  • daemonesslisa

    Mississippi wants a Papers Please law.

    Because it worked out SO well for Alabama, right?

    http://bobcesca.com/blog-archi.....ilure.html

  • krissy

    If the English didn’t like brown people, they shouldn’t have come to the Americas and they didn’t have to enslave and import black people either.

  • Willie Salas

    Alabama and Mississippi have a history of Racism, this is the same mentality that was evident towards Blacks in the 40′,s 50′s and 60′s before the civil rights act became law in 1964. The mindset back then was -they (Blacks) are inferior, second class citizens, they need to drink from
    different water fountains,sit in the back of the bus, etc.,
    We now know truth, many Blacks were superior … especially in sports and the music industry. My point – Latinos will also over come this type of hatred being spewed by right wing extremist, which is mostly based on fear and ignorance. What I find interesting is that : Many of these right wing extremists claim to be so-called Christians. What a joke!
    I support a national policy on enforcement of illegal immigration without the racism and hatred.

  • Reynardine

    And when people like Guardian start cranking away, what comes out isn’t Tellicherry black pepper.

  • ModerateMike

    “the personal and economic safety” of all Americans is threatened by “the ongoing invasion of illegal aliens.”

    First of all, anyone who still thinks that the U.S. is lax on border security should visit the Customs and Border Patrol website (www.cbp.gov). Forget that some liberal guy directed you to this site; it is primary source information.

    And believe it or not, undocumented immigrants walk into stores and buy things. If the number of people who patronize businesses decreases, does it not stand to reason that these businesses might have to lay off some of their workers? How could this possibly be good for the economy? Again, I ask people like RRoberts and Guardian to consider whether the points that I and others here have made stand on their own merits, putting aside for the moment whatever antipathy you may feel toward us.

  • Reynardine

    Note that Guardian was completely off topic, but people like him will never miss an opportunity to come onto a forum like this, stick a crank up their buts, and crank away.

  • http://yahoo ruben

    rroberts….it makes them right wing extremists because for the most part these laws are enforced by the right wing extremists only because of the color of there skin and the way the people who they are going after look…if you had two people standing in a grocery store in the bigoted states like arizona and alabama one was hispanic and a u.s citizen and one was irish and here illegally who do you think the authorities would ask to verify there immigration status?…..the right wing elements in the u.s are the most dangerous groups in this country…these neo nazis have infiltrated the government at all levels and have stepped up there rhetoric ever since obama became president…and rroberts every thing about these despicable human beings is about race they will always…. always try to justify there racial hatred with the law…what i find most discuss-ting about these people is that they are always crying about freedoms and democracy but there hypocritical actions say otherwise….they would love nothing more than to turn this country into a police state with them pulling all the strings.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “Anyone who has is “rich and by default, evil” and the have-nots are their innocent victims.”

    This is logical fallacies 101, the above is an example of a straw man fallacy.

    “I was raised to believe that if I work hard and play by the rules I can achieve the American Dream.”

    Yeah, a LOT of people were raised to believe that. Then they found out it wasn’t true.

    ” Now I’m told that when I get there I have to give half of it to someone else.”

    I’m wondering who’s telling you that since the highest tax bracket in the US still gets taxed at 35%, the lowest in most of US history and one of the lowest in the industrialized world. “Someone else” also includes your social security, the military, and hundreds of other services, some of which you use every day. Apparently you thought all that was free.

    “So the logical end is that under the liberal model no one has an incentive to work; not the rich because they have to give their wealth to someone else and not the poor because someone else will give to them.”

    Right, because nobody works in America and rich people don’t exist because their wealth is all expropriated. Sure.

    “This brings me to the final point on the principles of liberalism; the primary goal of liberalism is government dependency of all individuals. ”

    Seeing as how liberalism dates to the 18th century that’s a bit hard to believe. How can one champion the individual and want them to be dependent on government at the same time?

    “The harder it is for individuals to take care of themselves the more they have to depend on the government.”

    And the private sector has nothing to do with people being dependent on government? Were you aware that the low wages at Wal-Mart cause many of its employees to qualify for welfare?

    “If we don’t soon return to the principles of individual responsibility that molded this nation into the great country that is (was), I am confident that we will descend into an entitlement mentality, government dependent nation that we can no longer recover from.”

    Again, you have been led to believe a myth. All industrialized nations did so with the help of government intervention- no exceptions. Try looking up something called the Louisiana Purchase for starters.

  • Philip

    Apparently Mississippi, like Alabama, wants to arrest foreign company officials and reverse the trend of industrialization of the anti-union south. As a Michigander I enjoy this very much.

  • http://Twitter.com/AronL Aron

    RRoberts, there’s a lot that you evidently don’t understand.

    There’s expecting people to follow the law. And then removing their basic human rights and overal self-respect if they don’t. And then there’s the fact that even people who ARE following the law still get punished because they happen to have a similar skin color.

    But I doubt you actually care about this. There’s too many damned Messicans in ‘Murica anyway, right?

  • Guardian

    Well RRoberts let me help you out.
    This is Liberalism 101. Liberalism favors the right of an individual to dessent from orthodox tenents, laws or established authorities if it furthers the pursuit of personal happiness.
    Liberals also fancy themselves to be modern day Robin Hoods. Anyone who has is “rich and by default, evil” and the have-nots are their innocent victims.
    I was raised to believe that if I work hard and play by the rules I can achieve the American Dream. Now I’m told that when I get there I have to give half of it to someone else.
    So the logical end is that under the liberal model no one has an incentive to work; not the rich because they have to give their wealth to someone else and not the poor because someone else will give to them.
    This brings me to the final point on the principles of liberalism; the primary goal of liberalism is government dependency of all individuals. The harder it is for individuals to take care of themselves the more they have to depend on the government.
    If we don’t soon return to the principles of individual responsibility that molded this nation into the great country that is (was), I am confident that we will descend into an entitlement mentality, government dependent nation that we can no longer recover from.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Because right wing extremists seem too be incredibly concerned about enforcing some laws, while ignoring or actively arguing against others.

  • Reynardine

    Supremacy Clause, Roberts. That little thing. States don’t conduct their own diplomacy, make their own treaties, levy their own tariffs, wage their own wars, impede interstate commerce, or impose their own immigration policies. Only the national sovereign can do that. And now that you have been informed what the law is, why not take your own advice and respect it?

  • RRoberts

    Why does expected someone to follow the law make someone a RIGHT WING EXTREMIST? I don’t understand that at all.

  • Reynardine

    Surprise! Surprise! Alabama and Mississippi are NOT sovereign nations! (Where is General Sherman, now that we really need him?)