JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - 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, says 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.
If approved, House Bill 150 would take effect beginning July 1. It began drawing attention Thursday on various Internet sites.
Not everyone is in on Holland's joke.
The bill has drawn a rebuke from CafÃ© 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.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)