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Immigrant advocacy group challenges voter registration law for some citizens

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The Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance has filed a lawsuit against the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office claiming that a voter registration requirement for naturalized citizens is illegal.

In the lawsuit, MIRA says that Mississippi’s voter registration requirements for naturalized citizens are more stringent that for citizens born in the U.S. A naturalized citizen must show his or her naturalization certificate or similar proof of citizenship before being allowed to register. For those born in the U.S., they only have to check a box to certify their citizenship.

“An important part of our work of MIRA involves helping applicants complete the naturalization process – and with registering to vote. We help folks with their applications, interviews, obtaining approvals, and navigating bureaucratic hurdles through the swearing-in ceremony and beyond,” said Bill Chandler, MIRA executive director, in a statement.

“There is no reason to treat naturalized citizens any differently than other citizens. This law is grounded in white supremacy, xenophobia and racism, and should therefore be abolished.”

According to the suit, the difference in the two requirements is unconstitutional because it discriminates against one group of citizens. It also claims that no similar laws exist anywhere in the U.S.

“Mississippi’s discriminatory proof of citizenship requirement, which dates back to the Jim Crow era, constitutes a textbook violation of the United States Constitution,” said Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, who, along with the Mississippi Center for Justice, the Law Office of Robert McDuff, and the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, represents MIRA in the suit.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that Mississippi’s naturalized citizen population has increased by more than 50 percent between 2000 and 2015 to roughly 26,000. Mississippi’s naturalized citizen population is predominantly non-white: about 12,000 were born in Asia, 8,000 were born in Latin America, 4,000 in Europe and 1,500 in Africa.

“Our democracy only works when every legitimate voter can exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot that counts,” Clarke said. “This is yet another unfortunate example of how Mississippi’s antiquated voting laws and procedures hurt people of color.”

Crime

BREAKING: One person shot in Kings community

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The scene of a shooting in the Kings community. (photo by David Day)

Vicksburg Police and other first responders are on the scene of a shooting where a 19-year old male has been apparently been shot.

A call of shots fired on North Washington Street in the Kings community in Vicksburg came in at about 4:45 p.m. on Friday.

One person, a 19-year-old male, has apparently been shot in the buttocks. The wound is not life-threatening.

Police are searching for the shooter and have the area cordoned off. Please avoid the area if possible.

Vicksburg Daily News is on the scene. Watch our live streaming video on our Facebook page.

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Crime

Vicksburg PD brings four individuals to court for initial appearances Friday

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Left to right: William Mayberry, Jacorvin Taylor, Walter Lee Hardy and Joshua Moore. (photos from the Vicksburg PD)

The Vicksburg Police Department brought four individuals into Vicksburg Municipal Court on Friday on charges ranging from possession of controlled substances to the theft of a firearm.

Judge Angela Carpenter presided over the initial court appearances and set bonds in each of the cases.

William Mayberry, 43, of Vicksburg, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 15 at his residence by officers of the Vicksburg Police Department Narcotics Enforcement Team. He was charged with one count of possession of methamphetamine, one count of possession of heroin, and one count of sale of methamphetamine. Carpenter bound Mayberry over to the Warren County Grand Jury on a $75,000.00 bond.

Jacorvin Taylor, 29, of Shreveport, La., was arrested for felony shoplifting on Thursday, Jan. 16. His arrest is the result of an investigation into the theft of over $9,000 of merchandise from Dillard’s which occurred on Jan. 15, 2019. Carpenter bound Taylor over to the Warren County Grand Jury on a $30,000.00 bond.

Walter Lee Hardy, 19, of Vicksburg, was taken into custody on Thursday, Jan. 16, charged with one count of possession of a stolen firearm. Carpenter bound Hardy over to the Warren County Grand Jury on a $2,500 bond.

Joshua Moore, 28, of Vicksburg, turned himself in on a warrant for possession of methamphetamine on Friday, Jan. 17. Carpenter bound Moore over to the Warren County Grand Jury on a $5,000 bond.

Officers with the Vicksburg Police Department responded to the following incidents on Thursday, Jan. 16:

Officers responded to a residence in the 100 block of Churchill Drive at 8:30 p.m. in reference to a residential burglary. The resident stated a white gold seven-cluster ring, an Echo Dot smart speaker and a Michael Kors purse were missing.

At 10:58 p.m., officers responded to the 1300 block of Mundy Street in reference to shots fired. They found no evidence of shots being fired.

If you have an information on any of these incidents, please contact the Vicksburg Police Department at 601-636-2511.

 

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Education

Hinds CC named a top college for online associate degrees

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(photo by © User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0,)

Hinds Community College has been named among the best online colleges in the nation for associate degrees for 2020.

Seattle-based Intelligent.com, an independent academic research group, gave Hinds the designation Most Online Class Options among a group of 60 regionally accredited institutions that offer associate degrees and have fully online programs available. The comprehensive research guide was based on an initial study of 383 education programs at 149 accredited colleges and universities offering associate degrees, with 60 institutions making the academic research group’s list of finalists.

Programs were rated on curriculum quality, graduation rate, reputation, and post-graduate employment. Hinds rated 30th out of the 60 finalists overall on those factors and was the lone two-year college in Mississippi named a finalist.

Hinds Community College offers nearly 500 online class sections each fall, spring, and summer semester through the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC), a consortium of 15 community colleges in Mississippi offering internet-based courses. Students at its member colleges are offered flexibility in testing and other vital resources.

For spring 2020, Hinds has experienced an increase of 4.5 percent in online students taking both academic and career-tech courses, compared to spring 2019.

Intelligent.com provides comprehensive information on higher education programs as well as financial aid, internships and study strategies, among other resources. Results of the survey may be found at https://www.intelligent.com/best-online-colleges-for-associates-degrees/

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