New lawsuit challenges immigration law

Saturday, January 5th 2008, 11:04 pm
By: News 9


State officials may once again be defending Oklahoma's new immigration law.

Considered one of the toughest in the nation, House Bill 18-04 creates barriers for undocumented immigrants to receive public benefits and jobs.

A new lawsuit is challenging its constitutionality.

A group of attorneys claim the law is in direct violation of Oklahoma's constitution because it uses public funds to "search out and turn-over illegal immigrants to federal agencies."

The state suit cites a section of the Oklahoma constitution that states, "The Legislature shall have no power to appropriate any of the public money for the establishment and maintenance of a Bureau of Immigration in this State."

"Every agency has been charged with the responsibility of searching out illegal immigrants and turning them over to some federal agency and to me that's a bureau," Plaintiff Professor Jim Thomas said.

No court date has been set to hear the lawsuit."

Contributing: Associated Press