Gov. Stitt Talks Newly Signed Bill Criminalizing Illegal Immigration, New Task Force

A bill criminalizing illegal immigration in Oklahoma was signed by Governor Stitt. Along with the new law, the governor is creating a task force- which he says will ensure those here legally aren't targets.

Thursday, May 2nd 2024, 5:31 pm

By: News 9, Haley Weger


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A bill criminalizing illegal immigration in Oklahoma was signed by Governor Stitt.

Along with the new law, the governor is creating a task force- which he says will ensure those here legally aren't targets.

The governor is calling it the Oklahoma State Work Permits and Visas task force.

Gov. Stitt says they’re still working out the logistics but want to ensure people coming to Oklahoma to work - still have that opportunity under the new law.

"They're going to be studying how can we issue maybe a state-issued ID maybe we could do a workforce permit because if you're chasing the American dream and you want to be an Oklahoman an American, you want to pay taxes you want to work hard, you want to be part of our community, we want you here," said Gov. Stitt.

Gov. Stitt says this bill left him conflicted, saying while he believes Oklahoma needs to be a law and order state - he wants to ensure the Hispanic population is not targeted.

Gov. Stitt says our state lawmakers were forced to step in with this legislation - saying the federal government wasn't taking any action.

There's been a list of concerns with the new law but Gov. Stitt says this law does not give police the authority to profile individuals or question them about their immigration status without reasonable suspicion of a crime.

Stitt says he's been working with law enforcement and lawmakers on the details.

Another thing on the governor’s plate: He has called a meeting with leaders in the House and Senate, saying it's time to finalize a state budget.

The three parties have to decide where $13.1 billion will be spent.

Less than a month before the end of the session lawmakers still don’t seem to be agreeing on the state budget.

The house is ready to wrap this up Monday while the Senate says there’s no need to rush.

“My expectations are and our attitude will be that we will go in there and negotiate in good faith and we will press hard for what we think the priorities for the state of Oklahoma are,” said Rep. Charles McCall (R-Atoka). 

Governor Stitt applauded both leaders in the House and Senate for their efforts of transparency this year - saying this open-forum meeting on Monday will continue with that push.

Stitt and McCall are still pushing for another tax cut while the Senate says that probably won’t be happening.

After the switch up in the state senate - there were some concerns that the budget process could be stalled, but Pro Tem Treat says the senate is ready to move forward with negotiations - as long as they are transparent.

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