Jackson city leaders have no plans to rollback an ordinance prohibiting police officers from questioning people about their immigration status, which some state officials have said makes the capital city a sanctuary for illegal immigrants.
Jackson’s persistence comes amid state and federal promises to crack down on illegal immigration and cities that aid undocumented immigrants.
The Mississippi Legislature this year imposed its own ban on cities and university campuses adopting policies meant to protect undocumented immigrants from the federal government. During at times heated debates on the legislation, several lawmakers pointed to Jackson’s anti-racial profiling ordinance.
Amid debate on the proposal in Mississippi, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also announced the Trump administration would withhold federal criminal justice grants from cities, counties and states that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Sessions said state and local jurisdictions must certify they are complying with federal immigration laws in order to receive federal funds.
But Jackson Mayor Tony Yarber said despite the new state law and the Justice Department’s announcement, he does not intend to repeal the anti-profiling ordinance.