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Lawmaker plans new immigration laws

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People rally to protest HB 1804. Rep. Randy Terrill, the bill's author, plans to introduce measures to expand the law in February. People rally to protest HB 1804. Rep. Randy Terrill, the bill's author, plans to introduce measures to expand the law in February.

By Dan Bewley, NEWS 9

The author of Oklahoma's immigration recently unveiled his plans for expanding the bill.

HB 1804 went into effect Nov. 1 after protests and rallies against the immigration law.

The bill's author, Rep. Randy Terrill (R-Moore) said less than two months later he's already seeing proof of its success.

"There is significant anecdotal evidence that illegal aliens are beginning to leave the state of Oklahoma, particularly in the northeast part of the state, in and around the Tulsa area, moving around to northwest Arkansas, southern Missouri, and southern Kansas," Terrill said.

A recent Oklahoma Poll shows 28 percent of Oklahomans think the immigration reform bill has had a negative impact.

Sand Springs resident Debbie Spears said she thinks the law puts undue pressure on small business owners.

"If you increase the cost to do business in Oklahoma by putting these requirements on to employers then that's just an increase to the cost of their goods and services," she said.

Rep. Terrill said he's already working on the next stage of 1804.

His plans include:

  • making English the official language of Oklahoma.,
  • strengthening the current law to give law enforcement more power,
  • forcing schools to report the number of illegal immigrants in their districts, and
  • taking a closer look at challenging the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution which grants citizenship to anyone born in the U.S., even if their parents are not citizens.

"We are going to proceed in a very careful, thoughtful, and deliberative manner and we're going to produce something that's going to be airtight and withstand any legal challenge that's brought against it," Terrill said.

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