Mississippi is poised to become the first state to pass an Arizona copycat law.
The House passed an amended version of the Senate-approved measure yesterday, which will require immigrants to carry proof of their legal status in the state. Police officers must verify a person's immigration status if they suspect the person may be an illegal immigrant.
The Democratic-controlled House stripped a provision that would allow citizens to sue state agencies or officials if they believe they are not enforcing immigration law. They also added a measure that will fine employers for hiring illegal immigrants.
The bill passed 80-36, but the Senate will have to agree to the House's changes before the measure goes to Gov. Haley Barbour's desk.
Judy Phillips, a research associate at Mississippi State University's Stennis Institute of Government told the Lookout she expects the Senate will accept the amended version, and that Barbour will sign it.
At least a dozen states have introduced or are close to introducing similar bills. Key portions of Arizona's law have been struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional.