Q Under present state law, do state and local Mississippi law enforcement officers have the authority to detain and arrest individuals for violations of the immigrations laws of the United States?

A The federal courts have recognized that, to the extent that they are authorized to do so by their own state laws, state and local governments may enforce criminal violations of the immigration laws, but not civil violations. Local Mississippi law enforcement officers such as municipal police, sheriffs, constables and campus police have general police powers and thus may detain and arrest individuals for criminal violations of the immigration laws. State agency law enforcement officers have such authority if and to the extent allowed by their agency enabling statutes. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Bryant dated November 3, 2010) (See the entire opinion for an informative analysis of applicable federal and state case law and statutes.)