Opponents Attempt Final Effort To Stop Immigration Bill

House Bill 4156 has reached Governor Stitt's desk after widespread support from House and Senate Republicans, and certain state agencies. On Thursday, students at Northwest Classen High School walked out of classes in protest of the bill reaching the Governor's desk.

Thursday, April 25th 2024, 10:55 pm

By: News 9, Matt McCabe


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House Bill 4156 has reached Governor Stitt's desk after widespread support from House and Senate Republicans, and certain state agencies.

“The state of Oklahoma, if given the opportunity, would shut down the border,” Rep. Jon Echols (R- Cleveland) said in a floor debate earlier in April.

Language in the bill creates the crime of "impermissible occupation." It presents criminal charges for people identified as being in the state without proper documentation and mandates they leave Oklahoma within 72 hours. "It's really hard to enforce something like this because it's so vague," said Rep. Arturo Alonso-Sandoval (D-Oklahoma City).

While no action has been taken yet by the Governor, his office has previously indicated support for the policy.

Similarly, the Attorney General's office has urged the Governor to sign it quickly, citing concerns over Mexican and Chinese organized crime. "Law enforcement needs tools at its disposal to eliminate Oklahoma’s numerous illegal marijuana successfully grows and the other criminal activity that entails," said Attorney General Gentner Drummond in a prepared statement on Monday.

On Thursday, students at Northwest Classen High School walked out of classes in protest of the bill reaching the Governor's desk. Oklahoma City Public Schools released a statement to families, calming fears among the district's predominantly Hispanic population. "OKCPS does not and will not collect the immigration status of our students or their families," a prepared statement from the superintendent said.

Students at Southeast High School are planning their own walkout for Friday. "I know most of you all can relate that every time we would see the police pull up, watching our parents freeze up would fill me with anxiety," said junior Nayeli Rojo Chavez to a group of her friends.

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