OK Attorney General Says President's Order Is Unlawful

Friday, November 21st 2014, 7:05 pm
By: News 9

President Obama's new executive order shielded millions of immigrants from deportation and allowed undocumented parents of US citizens to stay in the country, but some Oklahoma officials said the President went too far.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt said the President's executive order is unlawful and a violation of power. Representatives with the AG's office said they are now reviewing the plan, while others, who benefit from the reform, celebrate.

"They are very excited, they'll finally have their licenses, they'll be able to drive and go to work and go to the grocery store and just be normal adults like other Oklahomans," said Jessica Vazquez, a junior at Oklahoma City University studying political science and philosophy.

Vazquez's parents brought her to America when she was three years old, fleeing violence along the Mexican border near Laredo, Texas.

"Everyone talks about well get in line, get in line, they don't understand that a lot of times, these lines don't exist, they aren't moving, they're very stagnant, my family has been in line for almost two decades now, just waiting to do it the right way, and nothing's happened, nothing's changed,” Vazquez said.

That was until President Obama issued his executive order.

"If you meet the criteria, you can come out of the shadows and get right with the law," Obama said in his Thursday night address.

His immigration plan would allow:

  • About 4 million people to stay and work legally.
  • They must pass background checks and pay taxes.
  • This includes undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents.
  • Expands Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
  • Security on the border will be increased.

The plan did not include a path to full legal status or benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

"Until there is a court somewhere in the country that enjoins the president from doing what he has proposed under the executive order, his agencies at the federal level will proceed," said Oklahoma AG Scott Pruitt.

That is why Pruitt said he plans to sue those federal agencies, saying the President's plan is illegal and costly.

"I think you'll see a spate of lawsuits, not just one, not just two, you'll see many lawsuits across the country," Pruitt said.

“Much confusion, I think when you see this type of action, it's very harmful to the legislative process, we know that this is going to impact the state and would not be there but for the president's actions.”

Vazquez is a part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA and said the reform makes a big difference but is only a slight victory.

“It's a bitter sweet feeling knowing that half of your friends are going to be able to come out of the shadows and cooperate and function like full Oklahoman Americans, and knowing that the other half are just going to have to live in the shadows until Congress acts," Vazquez said.

Pruitt has not set a date for when he plans to file the lawsuit.