Mississippi lawmakers question Immigration Bill

By Karrie Leggett

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) -  Senator Joey Fillingane says there is no question that with a 14 to 2 vote the majority of the Senate Judiciary "A" Committee supports the Immigration Bill, but there is a question of its funding.

"That is why I have been a little suspicious of all the concern given by some people inside and outside the legislature to the full funding issues," said Fillingane.

Fillingane says, there are already people in place to carry out the law and the state will just be giving them additional responsibilities.

"So, for instance with the Attorney Generals office we asked them if they foresee any additional cost and they can't give us an answer," said Fillingane.

According to Fillingane, he doesn't see an issue of cost when there are agencies to handle the logistics.

"With the department of Home Land Security and with Immigration Naturalization Service, they already have people hired who are trained and experts in that field. So, our local law enforcement really wouldn't need to be trained or experts or addition folks hired," said Fillingane.

Fillingane believes the real cost will come to tax payers if the bill is not passed into law.

"And the figures very widely from 30 million dollars of state tax dollars of cost, all the way up  to 50 million dollars," said Fillingane.

The Immigration Bill will hit the full senate floor for a vote next week.