February 22, 2018  

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Controversial Immigration Reform Bill Sparks Campus Forum Set for March 25

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On the heels of a controversial immigration reform bill making its way through the Mississippi Legislature, political, academic and civic leaders will examine the issue of immigration in Mississippi during a panel discussion at The University of Southern Mississippi.

"Mi Casa No Es Su Casa: An intelligent discussion on the immigration issue and Mississippi's response," will explore current issues facing Mississippi's proposed legislation dealing with immigration. The forum is Friday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in Gonzales Auditorium of the Liberal Arts Building.

The architect of the bill, state Sen. Joey Fillingane, will be present along with members of the Mississippi Tea Party, who have heavily lobbied for immigration reform. Opponents of the bill will also be present, including immigration rights groups.

“The idea for the symposium came up during a discussion in a Latin American political science class this semester, and the seemingly lack of public discourse over a bill with serious consequences and undertones,” said David Threatt, a senior International Studies major from Meridian, Miss. Threatt, along with two other students, are the organizers of this event.

“It [the bill] responds to one particular aspect of immigration, and that is with blanket enforcement of current immigration laws through local and state law enforcement," Threatt said. "I hope that this event will serve to show all sides of the debate in Mississippi, and offer all sides the opportunity to present their perspective on this issue."

The free public event will feature an eight-member panel of representatives from an array of educational, civic, political institutions and organizations. The panelists will participate in a question and answer session, including audience questions.

“I believe SB 2179 would go a very long way to helping address the growing problem of illegal immigration in the State of Mississippi and hopefully send a message to our federal government in Washington D.C. that the citizens of this country are tired of the federal government’s refusal to address the problem of illegal immigration in our nation,” said Fillingane. 

Panelists include:

  • J. Michael Anderson, immigration attorney
  • Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance
  • Rep. Jim Evans, state representative and member of Black Caucus
  • Sen. Joey Fillingane, state senator and author of SB 2179
  • Mark Klinedinst, emeritus professor of economics at Southern Miss
  • Roy Nicholson, chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party
  • Ron Vincent, organizer of Project 912 Hattiesburg
  • Rafael Sanchez, member of Sacred Heart church

"Mi Casa No Es Su Casa" is presented by The University of Southern Mississippi Political Sciencedepartment. For more information or to post questions to the panel, contact David Threatt or Angela Mong by email at usm.immigration.sym@gmail.comor 601-543-8363, or visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.c.php?eid=206353786044418.