With the 84-14 passage today of the Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 (HB 1804), Oklahoma takes up the national leadership standard for true immigration reform.
“HB 1804 is the first national or state-level bill in many years that ‘follows the money’ to combat the scourge of illegal immigration,” said Mike Hethmon, General Counsel of the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI). “This bi-partisan measure addresses the root cause of illegal immigration — exploitation of illegal alien labor through corruption and taxpayer subsidies.”
IRLI, the nation’s only public interest law firm that exclusively represents citizen interests in this area, worked closely with state leaders to craft a balanced measure that is both tough on lawbreakers and protective of the liberties and privileges of ordinary citizens, while respecting the constitutional rights of all persons.
“It took the heartland leadership of Representative Randy Terrill, Senator James A. Williamson, Senator Tom Adelson, and the 31 other sponsors to find solutions to our immigration crisis where Washington bureaucrats have failed the American people,” Hethmon noted.
HB 1804 declares that Oklahoma has “a compelling interest in insuring that agencies and employers fully cooperate in the compliance with and enforcement of federal immigration law.” This comprehensive legislation empowers cooperation with the federal government in enforcing immigration laws. In addition HB 1804 limits driver’s licenses to citizens and legal immigrants, mandates a standardized system for verification of employees and prevents illegal aliens from receiving taxpayer-funded benefits.
“HB 1804 is the new national model for rolling back the so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ movement, where illegal aliens are encouraged to ignore our laws,” said Hethmon. “Oklahoma has become a true civil rights pioneer. Job discrimination against citizen and legal immigrant workers must stop. HB 1804 says there is no job hard-working Americans won’t do. Stealing American jobs is now a civil rights violation in Oklahoma.”
“It is very significant that the Oklahoma legislature chose May Day, the day of lawlessness by the open borders lobby, to send a message that they will protect the rights of Oklahoma workers and citizens, regardless of any sellout plots being concocted by the President and the corruption lobby on Capitol Hill.”