JACKSON, Miss.—The Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance took to the state capital Wednesday to fight for immigrant rights.
“What we want to do is to support the effort of President Obama to enact fair and just immigration reform,” said Bill Chandler the executive director of MIRA.
MIRA talked about in the coming weeks the president is expected by many to push for an eventual pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the United States.
Chandler pointed out that many families with immigrants in the country have both legal and illegal family members under one roof.
“And so what you’re doing with all of this stuff is dividing families,” he said.
The organizer for MIRA that spoke today, Juan Carlos Lopez, pointed out that trying to deport illegal aliens out of a state won’t lead to a sudden uptick in the states economy.
“Arizona and Alabama have learned that the hard way,” Lopez said.
And while Mississippi doesn’t have a sweeping law or legislation like those two states do, Chandler says the sum of all the laws currently in the state add up to making it very difficult on legal immigrants that are here.
“The end result is the same,” he said.
MIRA presented facts that undocumented workers paid some $52.4 million in state and local taxes during 2010. The majority of that number was an estimated $41 million in sales tax because there’s no way to avoid that cost when buying something.
The overall message from the group of about 50 immigrants on hand today that kept being chanted about every five minutes was a familiar slogan.