DESOTO COUNTY, MS -- Lawmakers in Mississippi are working on tougher immigration laws. They're considering a bill that would give police more power to crack down on undocumented immigrants. It's getting national attention and criticism.
DeSoto Cops say even if the new bill passes, federal law over-rides state law and it may not make a difference.
Local cops don't have the power to prosecute illegal immigrants. There are few details on the new bill working its way through Jackson, but DeSoto cops see the problem every day and definitely have an opinion.
"We do see a good share of people here illegally," says Southaven Lt. Mark Little.
But right now if someone's illegal police don't have much power to do anything about it. Cops can contact border patrol and immigration when they come across illegal immigrants, but nothing seems to be done about it.
"On the federal level we're not enforcing laws as they're written," Little says. "At the state level, we do don't see any of them getting deported."
So even with Mississippi considering harsher laws against illegal immigrants, it may not matter.
"In my opinion if we'd enforce laws that are there we'd still have same effect," Little says.
The bill has passed the House. It's now in Senate committee. Little says it all depends on how the final version is worded. If it gives cops the power to fine or jail illegal immigrants, then they've got something to talk about because that would give the state new powers.