Mississippi State Immigration Laws
Welcome to FindLaw's coverage of Mississippi's immigration laws. In this article, we'll discuss how the state handles issues related to immigration status.
Like Alabama, Arizona, Florida, and Tennessee, immigration laws in Mississippi are some of the harsher for immigrants without proper documentation.
Below, you will find information on:
- Immigration checks by law enforcement in Mississippi
- Educational institutions' policies on migrants
- Immigration-related issues in employment contexts
- E-Verify requirements
- Driver's license requirements
- Restrictions on public benefits based on an individual's immigration status
- Related resources
- Hire an immigration attorney
A federal program once required all arrestees' names to go into a database. This program was "Secure Communities." The database checked immigration statuses. Former President Donald Trump renewed the program by executive order in 2017. But President Joe Biden revoked that executive order in 2021.
The new program is the "Criminal Apprehension Program." It only applies to those convicted.
Refer to federal employment eligibility verification rules and the requirements for Form I-9.
All public and private employers in Mississippi must use E-Verify. Businesses that fail to verify workers' employment eligibility may face sanctions. These can include losing their business licenses.
Applicants must show a birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residence. They must also prove Mississippi residency (lease agreement, utility bill, mortgage documents, etc.).
Under federal law, immigrants without proper documentation can't get most public benefits. But they can get emergency services. They can also get emergency health care. They can use other necessary programs to protect life and safety.
In Mississippi, students can attend public schools. This includes state colleges and universities. DACA recipients can also attend public schools. Students without proper documentation must pay out-of-state tuition to attend Mississippi public universities. In the state, students without proper documentation are also not eligible for state-funded financial aid.
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. It protects eligible young adults from deportation after their parents brought them to the United States as children. It also gives these young adults work authorization for limited periods. Those periods of work authorization are renewable.
Voters in Mississippi must show identification documents to vote.
- Know Your Rights — A guide to protecting yourself and your family during immigration raids
- Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance — A nonprofit organization and provider of various forms of aid to immigrants and migrants in the state, including legal assistance.
Navigating any immigration-related process is stressful. If you're dealing with any immigration-related issue, it's always a good idea to consult an immigration lawyer. They're not only useful in the context of a possible deportation or immigration court. They can provide far more general legal services for U.S. citizens and non-citizens.
With their advocacy, you can move more easily through any immigration-related process for you or your family members. Regardless of whether you're seeking legal immigration, they can assist in all matters related to the U.S. immigration system, including working with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They can even help you get green cards or visas. They can also help with the naturalization process.
It is confusing to understand a system that is particularly subject to the tensions between the federal government and those of the states. Immigration attorneys are the most effective legal resource you can use.
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Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.
Contact a qualified immigration attorney to help you get the best results possible.