(PNS reporting from OLE MISS) Inspired by the members of the University of Southern Mississippi marching band, state legislators passed a harsh new anti-immigration measure Wednesday and expect the bill to pass the Senate and be signed into law soon by Gov. Phil Bryant.
HB 488 requires law enforcement to investigate the immigration status of any person in custody thought to be in the country illegally and specifically targets American citizens from Puerto Rico. They are obligated to present a green card as well as prove proficiency in English.
The bill originally included provisions that would have required public schools to check the immigration status of all enrolled students and test their spelling proficiency. Those provisions were removed from the bill when it was discovered that many students could not spell Mississippi without singing it.
Bryant insists that “no one wants to target Hispanics” but says that Mississippi has a “rich history of bigotry to honor.”
“It’s boat-rocking time in the hate st..excuse me, in the great state of Mississippi! We are looking to rid ourselves of our Mexican problem, especially all those Mexicans from Puerto Rico,” Bryant told PNS.
Bryant claims he is unconcerned with actual facts regarding Puerto Rico, won’t acknowledge that Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917 or that English is one of the island commonwealth’s official languages.
Mississippi recently came under fire during the NCAA basketball tournament in a game where Kansas State University played against Southern Mississippi University.
During the game, members of the Southern Miss band brandished banjos and jugs while chanting “where’s your green card?” at Kansas State University Freshman, Angel Rodriguez during a free throw shot. Rodriguez, who was born in San Juan PR ignored the chanting and KSU won the game, 70-64.
SMU revoked scholarships from five students after they admitted to the racial taunts but Gov. Bryant is claiming foul.
“That kid should have been arrested and deported,” Gov. Bryant said. “He obviously does not speak English – he didn’t even acknowledge the band! I did not see him present his green card to any of the officials. We’re sick and tired of these illegals taking our free throws!”
Once Bryant signs the bill, it would go into effect on July 1. Both the ACLU and Department of Justice are expected to intervene as they have in other states with similar laws. The Department of Education is also expected to get involved and require that Mississippi lawmakers learn to read.
S. J. Rivera lost his green card and is an Indie Publisher/Author @ Broken Sword Publications