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Controversial Immigration Bill Signed Into Law

He waited until the deadline, but Governor Brad Henry signed an immigration bill into law Tuesday afternoon. He waited until the deadline, but Governor Brad Henry signed an immigration bill into law Tuesday afternoon.
House Bill 1804 received overwhelming approval in the Oklahoma Legislature. House Bill 1804 received overwhelming approval in the Oklahoma Legislature.

He waited until the deadline, but Governor Brad Henry signed an immigration bill into law Tuesday afternoon. Critics of the bill say it's mean spirited. But News On 6 anchor Omar Villafranca reports supporters of the legislation say it will shut off access to jobs and benefits for illegal aliens, saving state taxpayers millions of dollars.

When Dan Howard, creator of www.outragedpatriots.com, heard the news about Governor Brad Henry signing the immigration bill he had one response.

"God Bless America, and God Bless Governor Henry," he said.

The bill is considered one of the most restrictive in the nation. But to Howard, the bill could have done more.

"Personally, I don't think it was strict enough," Howard said.

But Howard says the bill is a step in the right direction.

The bill, known as The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, requires all local and state agencies to verify a person's citizenship before they receive benefits. Howard thinks the bill will have illegal aliens making other plans.

"I believe it will deter those coming here," said Howard. "I believe those here will be getting their affairs in order and either try and become legal or make other arraignments."

Now that Governor Henry signed it, Howard expects other states to make a move.

"There are a lot of states looking over the fence to see what happens on this deal, and now that it's passed, I guarantee you that you're going to see a lot of states passing similar legislation to put a stop to the unlawfulness and the illegal immigration," he said.

In a statement released after the bill was signed Governor Brad Henry said, "While some will undoubtedly claim this legislation is a landmark step forward, the truth of the matter is we will not effectively address immigration reform until the federal government acts." He also cautioned that, "State leaders should closely monitor the impact of HB 1804 in the months and years to come to ensure that it doesn't have any unintended consequences."

The News On 6 tried to contact Reverend Victor Orta, with the American Dream Coaltion, and Sebastian Lantos, with the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, but we did not receive a call back from either group.

To read House Bill No. 1804 click here.

Originally aired 5/8/2007 9:15 PM - Updated 5/9/2007 7:36 AM

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