JACKSSON, MS. (WDAM) - The State Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would expand law enforcement's ability to check a person's immigration status in Mississippi.
The bill passed by a vote of 34 to 15 following a lengthy debate of over four hours. Under the proposal, a police officer could check a person's immigration status during a traffic stop if they suspect the person is in the country illegally.
However, somebody has to be initially stopped for another legal reason like speeding, a primary offense, before officers can question status.
State Senator Joey Fillingane, a Republican from Sumrall, supports this bill and said on Tuesday it also establishes the state Attorney General's office as the primary agency to investigate reports of employer violations and citizen complaints.
The legislation now heads to the state house.