If a bill passes in Mississippi, maps and textbooks may need to be re-written.
Democrat state Rep. Steve Holland proposed a bill that would rename the Gulf of Mexico to the “Gulf of America.”
“For all official purposes within the state of Mississippi, the body of water that is located directly south…shall be known as the ‘Gulf of America’,” the bill states. The bill, if passed by the legislature and signed by the governor, would go into effect July 1.
But that may be a tall order. There is a Republican majority in all branches of government in Mississippi and Holland does not agree with Republican viewpoints on immigration.
“They are trying to really discriminate against immigrants, which offends me severely,” Holland told ABC News.com. “I just thought if we’re gonna get into it, we might as well all get into it, it’s purely tongue and cheek.”
Holland said the bill, meant to mock other bills drilling down on immigration, is getting a lot of attention, which was the point in the first place. He does not expect it to go anywhere.
“It’s to bring the attention that things are going south with legislation in this country and not the kind of south I would like,” Holland said.
Not everyone thinks House Bill No. 150 is the most appropriate way to draw attention to the issue of immigration.
“I was just astonished that someone would propose a bill such as that,” Bob Quasius, President of Cafe Con Leche Republicans, told ABC News.com. The group, self-described as dedicated to making America and GOP a friendly place for immigrants, released a letter asking Holland to withdraw the bill.
“Later we heard that he [Holland] was saying that it was just a piece of satire — it’s not a good topic for satire and it never should have been introduced as a bill,” said Quasius.
Quasius does not believe the bill is drawing the right kind of attention and brings Holland’s credibility into question in as well as wasting taxpayer funds. The group has not yet decided if they will take further action; they want to give Holland more time to withdraw the bill.
“We’re still asking for him to pull the bill, apologize and move on,” he said. “The bottom line – he submitted a bill that is unacceptable and an embarrassment.”