Mississippi State Rep. Steve Holland wants to rename the Gulf of Mexico as the Gulf of America for "official purposes within the state of Mississippi."
Holland, D-Plantersville, said the measure aims to mock anti-immigrant legislation that he finds mean-spirited and insignificant. Newly elected Gov. Phil Bryant supports legislation to allow the state to crack down on immigration. Republicans won control of the Mississippi House last November.
Mississippi House Bill 150, which began drawing attention Thursday on various Internet sites, would take effect July 1 if approved. Even if passed, it's a Mississippi-only bill ... so we're still calling it the Gulf of Mexico in Texas ... for now.
Not everyone is in on Holland's joke.
The bill has drawn a rebuke from Café Con Leche Republicans, a Minnesota-based group that promotes a pro-immigrant and pro-Hispanic stance within the Republican Party. The group suggests renaming the Mississippi River as the Lincoln River.