On the national scale, talks of President Trump building a southern border wall have been met with both support and outcry.
In the Magnolia state, immigrant advocacy groups have echoed the opposition.
“Trump’s long history of racism and his rise to the White House has emboldened white supremacists in our legislature to rise with him in pushing their own agendas,” said Bill Chandler with the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance.
In Mississippi, immigrants are working the jobs that, according to Chandler, no one else wants, and they’re doing so for unfair wages.
“Immigrant and migrant workers are exploited mercilessly,” said Chandler.
Chandler said that immigrants to Mississippi are making a long-lasting economic impact, but according to a study by WalletHub.com, the Magnolia state receives less of an impact from immigration than any other state, due to the small population of immigrants in the state.
But immigration lawyer Ramiro Orozco takes issue with WalletHub’s numbers–and says even the Census has gotten it wrong when it comes to the number of immigrants in the state.
“The census says the immigrant population is around three to eight percent in Mississippi,” said Orozco. “But in my Ocean Springs office we have over 2,000 applications for assistance. That’s just one office. To me, those numbers are way off.”