Ward 2 Councilman Chokwe Lumumba's proposed anti-immigration profiling ordinance stalled this morning, after Jackson City Council president Frank Bluntson placed the ordinance back into the planning committee for further debate during today's City Council meeting.
Last month, Lumumba submitted a city ordinance designed to discourage city police from making unwarranted inquiries into a person's immigration status during traffic stops or public interaction, including calls for police assistance.
At Monday's work session, city attorneys suggested the council place the ordinance back into the planning committee after proposing several changes in the ordinance. One change expands the ordinance from solely pertaining to "members of immigrant communities" to "all residents of the city of Jackson."
Bluntson, one of the four members of the planning committee who had passed the original ordinance out of committee last month, also scheduled a public hearing on the ordinance for Aug. 19, 6 p.m., at City Hall.
Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Legal Project Director Patricia Ice said she interpreted Bluntson's decision as opposition to the ordinance.
"I'm pretty sure most people in Jackson are not for racial profiling, so I don't see how you can be against an anti-racial profiling bill," Ice told the council during the meeting's public comment section. " ... From what I understand, there's one main person on this council that is against this racial profiling bill, and that's you, Mr. Bluntson. I don't understand why you, who represent people in Ward 4, would support ... fear and loathing of immigrants."
Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber pointed out that putting the ordinance back into committee amounted only to a delay and that a majority of the council still appeared to support the ordinance.