Amendment Would Have Punished Equally For Picking Up Prostitutes, Illegal Immigrants

Thursday, March 10th 2011, 11:05 pm
By: News 9

Dana Hertneky, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma's controversial immigration bill passed out of the House Thursday, but there was an amendment that didn't make it into the bill. It would have given those who pick up prostitutes the same treatment as those who pick up illegal immigrants.

The last minute amendment had to deal with seizing your vehicle. The bill says the government can take your car if you're picking up an illegal immigrant, but the government can't do the same thing if you pick up a prostitute.

Representative Joe Dorman has a problem with that. So he tried to amend the part of House Bill 1446 that said if you're involved in sex trafficking, the government can seize your vehicle but "merely procuring the services of a prostitute shall not be included."

"If they are arrested then they would still get to keep their car, but the amendment today said if someone picks up an immigrant then they would lose their car and I saw that as a double standard," said Rep. Dorman.

But not everyone saw it that way. The amendment was easily defeated.

"I was really surprised. Something like that is a no brainer," said Dorman.

But those who voted against Dorman say that language is already Oklahoma law and Thursday's attempt to change it just as the House was getting ready to vote was more a stunt to bog down the bill.

"I think it was more a politicizing statement or trying to throw a kink in everything," said Rep. George Faught (R ) Muskogee, who authored the bill.

The bill will likely go back to committee where Dorman said he will continue to try and get his amendment added.