OK High Court Upholds Most of Anti-illegal Immigration Bill

Tuesday, June 14th 2011, 11:02 pm
By: News 9

Michael Konopasek, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The State Supreme Court rules nearly all of Oklahoma's illegal immigration law is constitutional.

The state's high court upheld most of the anti-illegal immigration law which has been a law for several years.

The bill's author says the court validated four key parts of the law, but struck down a provision aimed at denying bail to illegal aliens charged with felonies and DUIs

State Representative Randy Terrill, who authored the bill, says all in all, he is happy with the court's decision.

"Today's decision on balance is a good thing and it is something I am mostly pleased with," said Terrell.

On Tuesday, the supreme court upheld a lower court's decision to keep the law almost entirely in tact. Most notably, the law makes it illegal to knowingly transport illegal aliens.

The now validated law is separated into 4 major parts:

  1. 1. Illegal aliens cannot obtain government-issued IDs.
  2. 2. They are not allowed to have access to most state taxpayer-funded public assistance programs.
  3. 3. States can now cooperatively enforce federal immigration laws.
  4. 4. Oklahoma can compel employers to verify the legal status of its workers.

Terrill says HB 1804, the law in question, only focuses on government employers, but he is interpreting the court decision to make all employers fair game.

However, what's not fair game, according to the court, is denying bail to illegal immigrants. The high court struck down that provision 8 to 1.

"The justices probably were not fully aware of the effect that their decision would have of what would be the natural and logical consequences of striking down that one section," argued Terrell.

Terrill says he plans on getting around the court's decision to allow bail for illegal immigrants. He says he will call for a referendum in the fall of 2012 in order to change the state's constitution. If successful, he says it will deny bail to illegal immigrants for both felonies and misdemeanors.

News 9 attempted to contact the attorney who challenged H-B 1804 along with people who have criticized the immigration bill, but our calls were not returned.