Governor Stitt defends Oklahoma’s controversial immigration law amid federal pushback

KOKH - May 28, 2024 6:13 am

Oklahoma City immigration attorney Sam Wargin Grimaldo speaks to a group outside the Oklahoma Capitol on Tuesday, April 23, 2024, who opposed a bill that would impose criminal penalties to be in the state illegally. Oklahoma is one of several GOP-led states seeking to give broader immigration enforcement powers to local police. (AP Photo/Sean Murphy

Governor Stitt is defending a state illegal immigration ban, as the federal government looks to poke holes in the argument.

What the Department of Justice is calling unconstitutional, and an interference with immigration and foreign relations is also a policy the Governor strongly supports.

But even before the state’s immigration law becomes effective on July 1st, it could be blocked by the federal government.

“Newsflash, you can’t come into our country illegally,” Gov. Stitt said. “Now you have the federal government suing the state of Oklahoma that says don’t enforce the law, because that’s all the bill basically says.”

The law doesn’t call for deportation from the country, but rather the state. It creates misdemeanor and felony offenses if someone is in the U.S. illegally and commits a crime in Oklahoma.

Metro law enforcement leaders are among the critics with concerns about how to enforce the law without racially profiling community members.

But the Governor has the state legislature and Attorney General Gentner Drummond on his side.

“We’re going to be a law and order state, we’re not a sanctuary state, and like all the law enforcement have said, they’re not rounding anybody up,” Gov. Stitt said.

Aside from the law, the Governor set up a Task Force to address how immigration bolsters our economy, and come up with a way to set up state distributed workforce permits.

“If the feds are not going to do it and they’re not going to get involved and do this the right way, we know there are great, hard-working Oklahomans that just can’t get through the system. So how do we step into that gap and fill that?” he said.

Newsflash, you can’t come into our country illegally,” Gov. Stitt said. “Now you have the federal government suing the state of Oklahoma that says don’t enforce the law, because that’s all the bill basically says.”

The law doesn’t call for deportation from the country, but rather the state. It creates misdemeanor and felony offenses if someone is in the U.S. illegally and commits a crime in Oklahoma.

 

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