Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Sid Salter: What the 42nd & Immigration Politics Mean to Mississippi

The latest skirmish in the nation’s highly partisan, often logically erratic fight over the broad topic of immigration is being fought over the Biden Administration’s plan to rescind an obscure public health law written 78 years ago to stop the spread of communicable diseases like tuberculosis.

Title 42, part of the 1944 Public Health Service Act, was never intended to be the cornerstone of major immigration enforcement in the country. The law gave the federal government the emergency power to stop “the introduction of communicable diseases” by migrants entering the U.S. – and to expel migrants without regard to their attempts to legally seek asylum as a public health necessity.

In 2020, the Trump Administration dusted off Title 42 to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic as cases soared. But it soon became evident that COVID-19 was not the only concern driving the use of Title 42. The old federal code has been used now some 1.7 million times to keep migrants from entering the U.S.

Both the Trump and Biden administrations used Title 42 as little more than border control measures. While Trump supporters expected nothing less from the guy who pledged to “build the wall” on the southern border, Biden soon came under fire from his supporters for failing to drop Title 42 enforcement by Customs and Border Protection.

The flap is already an issue in the coming midterm elections and has weakened an already shaky Biden push for a second term. Mississippi’s Republican U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith are both warning of dire consequences and a surge of undocumented immigrants if Title 42 is lifted.

Hyde-Smith warned that “one million illegal immigrants would cross the border in the first six weeks.” A federal judge in Louisiana entered the fray with a temporary restraining order to enjoin the government from giving migrants from the Northern Triangle nations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala early or special relief from Title 42.

Beyond the partisan politics, there are fundamental questions whether the Biden administration and the affected border states are prepared to lift the restriction. But getting beyond the partisan politics has been elusive for the last 40 years in this country.

Politically, illegal immigration and immigration issues are vastly overstated issues in Mississippi. Neither demographics nor fiscal reality supports the political alarm present. Globally, nations are looking to change immigration quotas, caps, and visa regulations to solve supply chain and worker shortage challenges.

The American Immigration Council identifies 70,860 immigrants in Mississippi (two percent of the state’s total population) as of 2020, with 38 percent naturalized American citizens and 35 percent undocumented or otherwise illegal representing one percent of the state’s population. Countries of origin include Mexico (23%), Guatemala (10%), India (8%), the Philippines (4%), and Vietnam (4%).

The AIC documents that as about three percent of the state’s labor force, immigrant workers generate about $1.5 billion in spending power and pay $550.6 million in federal, state, and local taxes. The opposing Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) counters that illegal immigration is by far a net fiscal drain on Mississippi taxpayers.

At a time when employers are incentivizing job vacancies with unprecedented bonuses and interruptions in the supply chain confound economic recovery, immigrants comprise about 3% of the state’s workforce.

Is Mississippi being swamped by undocumented immigrants “stealing our jobs?” In a word, no. Only 1.6% of Mississippi’s population is comprised of undocumented immigrants – around 20,000 people among three million.

Immigration has always been a complex problem that will require a complex, nuanced solution. Jingoism, nationalist rhetoric, and overt bigotry will not solve the challenges. And the problem is not going away no matter who controls in the White House,

Sid Salter is a syndicated columnist. Contact him at


Anonymous said...

Answer is simple. Reciprocity. We apply your country’s immigration laws to you when you knock on our door

Anonymous said...

Illegal immigration is simply a crime and nothing else.
Passing through any nation to seek asylum in the USA is illegal immigration and nothing else.
This is nothing more than an invasion by an army of economic conquest. (Reconquista)
Anyone debating otherwise is either misinformed or they have an agenda and their own homeland elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I am one if the Filipinos on that list. I waited 4 years and paid USCIS thousands of dollars to have my work visa approved. I am a skilled medical worker. It makes me sick to see all of the illegals who didn’t wait their turn. I will tell you that the Republic of the Philippines, in the Spirit of General Aguinaldo during his battle for independence against American Yankee Invaders, would use deadly force to stop such an invasion as is happening in the USA!

Anonymous said...

The illegal (key word illegal) immigration issue rests squarely on the shoulder of the Democrats in our country. It's a ploy to increase their voting base as evidenced by the push to get illegal (again there is that word) aliens voting rights. They will stop at nothing to get and remain in office even if it means destroying this country.

Anonymous said...

The illegal alien apologist indirectly covering for his poultry farmer friends who employ illegal labor again. As he has been doing for decades.

Anonymous said...

If illegal aliens— er, pardon me — “undocumented immigrants” and “migrants” were writing the syndicated columns appearing in American media, it’d be satisfying to hear Second Lieutenant Obvious squeal about his job being stolen. But I suppose he’d just learn to code and never miss a beat.

Anonymous said...

I know of a church who was trying to adopt a family from the Ukraine. No success from the Biden Administration to allow the family to emigrate. So the church flew the family to Mexico, the family walked across the border and the church flew the family to Mississippi. Problem solved.

The Biden administration is totally incompetent.

Anonymous said...

"...only 1.6% of MS workforce are illegals..."

BullScrotum up yours Salter, that is an intentionally misleading number as the illegals are often "under the table", not presenting openly.

There are entire swaths of certain job sectors especially construction, formerly a means of middle class income for USA citizens, overtaken with peasant invaders: these Mexican and Honduran criminals have close to 100% of some trades.

Anonymous said...

Do not automatically attribute to incompetence, what is most likely treasonous malice!

Anonymous said...

Shit ton of illegals here already. Browning St. Downtown body shops. Roofing companies. PFFFT ! Bottom line ? Both DEMS and REPS could have fixed these issues LONG AGO. They don't want to !!! And they won't. Doesn't matter if it's 10,000 a month or 50,000. They will not close the border and they will not make the application process more stream lined.

Anonymous said...

Illegal and legal immigration kills opportunities for American blacks. Look at the lawsuit blacks have in the delta against catfish farmers using white South Africans rather than American workers not to mention a lot of lawsuit against roofing and labor companies for hiring Hispanics over black Americans
My parents came here from Cuba and I can tell you it’s true immigrants are allowed to replace low wage American workers and both republicans and democrats allow this. Oddly trump was against this and recognized this. The black population is getting eaten alive by illegals look at California it’s only 5% black bc of the Hispanics working there for cheap.

Anonymous said...

38% plus 35% does not add up to 100%. what he is saying is at least 68% of them are illegals. I think most of them are living right behind me. they party all weekend and build up a good size pile of beer cans. Their music going full blast.

What about all of those people the American Immigration Council does not know about? How much does it cost the state to feed, educate, and house all of the illegals? How about all of the unlicensed and uninsured drivers.

Anonymous said...

Maintaining a large dependent class is the backbone of Democratic party politics. Their hope is that the incoming migrants will have numerous children (automatic citizenship) who have no chance of shaking off their dependence on their government overlords and by sheer numbers they will keep these bosses in power forever. The problem is that these dependents will ultimately overwhelm the ability of government to keep them satisfied. By that time it will be somebody else's problem. It's called looting.

Anonymous said...

1.6 percent of 3 million is 48,000, Sid. SMH. Good grief. Unless that's the New "Non-racist" Math.

Anonymous said...

Well mostly white liberals are the ones screaming for open boarders. That’s bc they don’t have to compete for a lower wage job and Labor Day in day out. They look down upon these Americans and look at the border towns that are 95% Hispanic they’re against illegals and want rule of law.

Anonymous said...

There’s white liberals and then there’s (((white))) liberals.

Anonymous said...

10:03 You are presuming the Sid is being forthright and honest in presenting his data. That is a risky proposition.

Anonymous said...

USA Today says illegal immigrants are at 2.4% in Mississippi. We are #2 as the lowest number of illegals.

Anonymous said...

12:45 AM said…
USA Today says…

You must be trolling. Nobody with a functioning brain believes anything that USA Today says!

Anonymous said...

12:45 : Lol, USA Today is as progressive as they come and how in the hell do they know where all the illegals run to once they are let in ? In my personal experience if you see 5 of them with one being female....3 are not here legal. If they speak English well then usually they have at least a work visa.

Anonymous said...

1. 4:08 sees the whole elephant, not willfully wearing a blindfold.

2. It’s Business — large, medium, and small — who want cheap labor, legal or illegal, from outside the US. And they will have it, too, this cheap labor, because it is they, the Business lobby, who contribute the money so the politicos can run for office. It makes not a whit of difference which party. The Republicans talk about illegal immigration, but you need to face facts, Pinkie: the GOP is not going to ride over the hill like the Cavalry and save you. Democrat politicians don’t care about the consequences of labor replacement but only whether they keep their snouts in the feeding trough.

Anonymous said...

9:01 You are exactly right. I work for a poultry company here and they are knowingly employed illegals.

Anonymous said...

Every cattle , chicken and catfish farm in this state employs at least 5 to 10 . How about those cats picking up trash along 55 ? Nary one speaks english....nary one legal. 1.6 % is a damn lie.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

Note: Security provided by INS