Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Oklahoma Immigration Law Challenged

We have often posted stories about the many state and local immigration ordinances passed in the last year as federal immigration reform floundered -- and ultimately failed.  In May, we reported that Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed a state immigration bill, which requires state and local agencies to verify the citizenship and immigration status of applicants for state or local benefits. It also requires public agencies starting Nov. 1 to use a program to screen Social Security numbers to make sure they are real and match up with the job applicant's name. Private companies must comply by July 1, 2008. Yyesterday, the National Coalition of Latino Clergy filed suit in federal court seeking to strike down the law. The suit alleges that the law is unconstitutional. The Tulsa World quotes the National Coalition's president, the Rev. Miguel Rivera as stating at a press conference outside the federal court building that "The leaders and people behind House Bill 1804 are guilty of ethnic cleansing.

A copy of the complaint in the suit has been posted on Bender's Immigration Bulletin.

A number of readers posted comments to the Tulsa World article (see link above).  Most of them strongly criticized the suit.  One comment was especially offensive but is nonetheless revealing:

"Illegal immigration is kind of like dog crap. An argument can be made that a little is good for the yard, but then you step in it and you've got a problem. And you certainly wouldn't want every dog in the neighborhood to crap in your yard.

- "Reverand" Rivera, keep your dog in your own yard!

- Disclaimer: I am not comparing Mexicans to dog crap. I am referring to illegal Canadians."

KJ

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/immigration/2007/10/oklahoma-immigr.html

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Comments

Being a Native American here in Oklahoma I say the white man should leave because we were all here before all of you idiots. This new law in Oklahoma is stupid and outrageous there is no way that this law is going to make Oklahoma better I hear and read all these redneck white people complaining about latinos here illegally costing them money in taxes. Well lets see how well Oklahoma does without them thats for sure because I sure as hell don't see white people getting off their asses to do construction for hours in the blazing sun all day, or doing dishes in the back of Olive Garden, or doing jobs that no other person wants to do. I think alot of these people fail to realize how many actual companies hire illegals because they are hard workers Oklahoma is going to lose millions of dollars. This is the worst kind of racism there is mexicans are good people they only come to the U.S. to get better jobs and better themselves. Let them stay, CHANGE IMMIGRATION LAWS or make it easier for them to become legalized.

Posted by: Shay | Oct 30, 2007 7:21:17 AM

I have to say that I agree with you Shay in your argument against this Bill. It is degrading to others and is not beneficial to businesses of Oklahoma. While this bill does mostly affect Mexicans because of our geographical placement, it also affects other immigrants who have immigrated here in hopes of a better life. Instead of taking the easy route and passing a bill against illegal immigration congress should improvise the qualifications and process in becoming a citizen. Many come here to, as you stated, better themselves, and to have a better life than they were previously living. However, since the process to becoming a citizen is so extensive, it lessens the likelihood for an illegal immigrant to apply. And even if they do apply it takes at least two years to receive a citizenship. Many of the illegal immigrants who are working their asses off over here are in the process of getting a green card and a citizenship. Many are working here because they NEED the money to support their familes. And you are right, these people fill in jobs that many others wouldn't even dream of doing. So I personally feel that this bill is not only degrading, but will actually hurt Oklahoma's economy cycle.

Now, with that being said, I feel it is important to mention that I am white. I understand your hostility towards the white race because congress is compromised of predominately white males who would never be personally affected by the bills they pass. However, you must remember that the elite white population is much smaller than that of the "mediocre" population and unfortunately the elite hold the power. This does mean that ALL whites agree. I know several white persons who, like me, oppose the bill. Racism cannot be solved with more racism.

Posted by: Rachel | Nov 15, 2007 12:10:15 PM

Racism? You are missing the entire point.

Here is the distinction that many people apparently want to ignore: There are legal immigrants, and there are ILLEGAL immigrants. Those who are here legally are welcome to stay, work on construction sites, wash dishes, teach rocket science, or do whatever else they are capable of doing. Most legal immigrants learn English and try to assimilate into American society. I say, more power to ‘em.

ILLEGAL immigrants are, by definition, criminals. THEY DON’T HAVE ANY RIGHTS; THEY ARE CRIMINALS! (I’m not shouting, just trying to be emphatic in print.) They have no business being part of a lawsuit based on citizens’ rights because they aren’t citizens. If they have a problem with their treatment under American law, they are welcome to contact their national consulate and complain.

This is not a racism or discrimination issue. It is not an issue of Latino vs. White. This is an issue of law-abider vs. criminal. Try to understand the distinction.

Posted by: Jody | Nov 29, 2007 11:54:06 AM

ALL OF THIS IS CRAP. WE ALL JUST COME HERE BECAUSE ITS WAY BETTER THEN THE LIFE THAT MOST PEOPLE LIVE IN MEXICO. IT DEFENETLY IS GOING TO AFFECT THE US. BUT THEN THATS GONNA BE THERE PROBLEM. MOST RACISTS PEOPLE ARE WHITE!!! WHITES PROBABLY FEEL OFFENDED BUT I DONT GIVE A CRAP. I EXPRESS MYSELF IN A VERY HARSHLY. THE IS NOT RIGHT!!!!!!!! MEXIANS COME HERE FOR A BETTER OPPORTUNITY AND WITES ARE TAKING THAT CHANCE AWAY. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT DID WE DO TO THE WHITES TO MAKE THEM DO SOMETHING SO HARSH LIKE THIS. MEXICANS WERE HERE WAY BEFORE THE WHITES AND WE ARE NOT TRYING TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU. WE JUST WANT THE CHANCE TO LIVE IN THE PLACE THAT IS RIGHTLY OURS. I SAY TAKE OUT THAT BILL!!!

Posted by: STEPHANIE | Dec 4, 2007 6:47:00 AM

ALL OF THIS IS CRAP. WE ALL JUST COME HERE BECAUSE ITS WAY BETTER THEN THE LIFE THAT MOST PEOPLE LIVE IN MEXICO. IT DEFENETLY IS GOING TO AFFECT THE US. BUT THEN THATS GONNA BE THERE PROBLEM. MOST RACISTS PEOPLE ARE WHITE!!! WHITES PROBABLY FEEL OFFENDED BUT I DONT GIVE A CRAP. I EXPRESS MYSELF IN A VERY HARSHLY. THE IS NOT RIGHT!!!!!!!! MEXIANS COME HERE FOR A BETTER OPPORTUNITY AND WITES ARE TAKING THAT CHANCE AWAY. I DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT DID WE DO TO THE WHITES TO MAKE THEM DO SOMETHING SO HARSH LIKE THIS. MEXICANS WERE HERE WAY BEFORE THE WHITES AND WE ARE NOT TRYING TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM YOU. WE JUST WANT THE CHANCE TO LIVE IN THE PLACE THAT IS RIGHTLY OURS. I SAY TAKE OUT THAT BILL!!!

Posted by: STEPHANIE | Dec 4, 2007 6:50:55 AM

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