Mississippi House Passes Bill Targeting Illegal Immigration
March 16, 2012 By Staff
Today in Latin America
Top Story — Following a spate of state laws cracking down on undocumented immigrants, Mississippi’s House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would allow police to investigate the immigration status of people they arrest. The bill passed 47-70 in the House and moves on to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it is also expected to pass and be signed into law by governor Phil Bryant. The Mississippi bill requires police to arrest someone for an offense before checking their immigration status; asking about immigration status at traffic stops is not allowed. Opponents of the bill managed to defeat a provision that would have required public schools to check the immigration status of students, arguing that this would violate federal law.
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- Police in Durango, Mexico said that one of the bodies dumped in a clandestine grave in 2010 was identified as 39 year-old lawmaker Alfonso Peña.
- Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum said he did not ask Puerto Rico to adopt English as its official language as a condition for statehood, but that English should be taught and spoken “universally” on the island.
- American Alan Gross, imprisoned in Cuba, and Cuban René González, imprisoned as one of the “Cuban Five” in the U.S., are both seeking special dispensation to return to their respective countries and visit family members with cancer.
- The U.S. ambassador to Haiti was called on to vouch that Haitian President Michel Martelly is in fact a Haitian citizen, and not an American.
- Residents of Jamaica’s Tivoli Gardens slum say they are worried about growing crime now that drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke is being sentenced in New York.
- U.S. Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield praised El Salvador’s hardline anti-drug policies and said he hoped they would be exported to its neighbors.
- Researchers working near the Panama Canal discovered the remains of a 20 million year-old camel ancestor that was about two feet tall and had sharp teeth and no hump.
- The Venezuelan government said it did not consider it “appropriate” to invite the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) Special Rapporteurs to make a visit.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales arrived in Colombia Thursday to meet with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
- Eleven people were injured and 135 detained in a soccer riot between fans of America and Deportivo Cali in Cali, Colombia.
- Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said Argentina would bring criminal charges against companies involved in oil exploration off the Falkland Islands.
- Thousands of Chilean students marched in Santiago to demand free education on Thursday, clashing with police using tear gas and water cannons against the crowd.
- Chevron halted operations on the Frade oilfield after Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency said that more oil was leaking from fissures near a well that released 110,000 gallons into the waters off Rio de Janeiro.
- The Brazilian sports minister told FIFA that Brazil was committed to approving the sale of alcohol within its stadiums during the 2014 World Cup, despite division in Congress on the issue.
Image: jimbowen0306 @ Flickr.