A Mississippi legislator has caught on to an idea that if the federal government won’t complete a border fence separating the United States from Mexico, the states will–and he’s planning on taxing illegal immigrants to fund it.
Republican State Sen. Joey Fillingane has filed S.B. 2255, which would charge a fee on all money transfers wired out of the United States, then count the amount as a credit on Mississippi citizens’ tax returns. The result: Only illegal immigrants sending money abroad would ultimately pay the fees, since they cannot file tax returns to receive a refund.
The net revenue from the non-refunded fees, S.B. 2255 specifies, would then be sent to states like Arizona and Texas for construction of a border fence.
Fillingane admits the idea wasn’t even his originally, but was presented to him through a tea-party group called the Mississippi Patriots.
Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, has criticized the bill as harassment of Latinos, who often wire money to relatives back home.
But Fillingane rejects the notion that his bill is a racist attack on Latinos.
“It doesn’t target Indians, it doesn’t target Hispanics even; it targets people who are here in the country illegally, be they from Hispanic-speaking countries or English-speaking countries or Chinese-speaking countries, it doesn’t matter,” Fillingane said. “The bill is designed to go after people breaking the law by being in the country without the proper documentation.”
The Mississippi Patriots tell WND they expect the State Senate’s Judiciary Committee to vote on the bill early this week.
[A video discussing this plan can be viewed here.]