Judge Robin J. Cauthron issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday prohibiting enforcement of provisions of the law.
There was a major development on Wednesday in the fight to end illegal immigration in Oklahoma. A federal judge has blocked the enforcement of parts of House Bill 1804, specifically the part that goes after employers who hire illegals.
News On 6 anchor Scott Thompson reports the decision comes just weeks before that part of the bill was supposed to be enforced.
Some business owners say the ruling makes legal and financial sense.
Some in the construction business say House Bill 1804 is out to stifle the sound of construction, but builders aren't the only ones feeling the brunt of Oklahoma's new immigration law.
The Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the Oklahoma's restaurants and hotels to fight the bill.
"There's been people move out of Tulsa. Good hardworking people many of them legal immigrants just because of this entire feeling of hate that has been promoted by this law. In my opinion it's a racist law," said Homebuilders Association President Brian Wiggs.
Wiggs says it's unconstitutional.
Now a U.S. District judge issued a preliminary injunction stopping part of the law affecting businesses.
"For us it's good news. We thought it was going to create an undue hardship on small businesses," said Wiggs.
The temporary stay comes just weeks before employers like Wiggs would be penalized for failing to comply with a federal employee verification system aimed to weeding out illegal immigrants.
"That's a lot harder than you think, and people coming and going and they can bring in. You have to figure out how to read their documents to figure out if that's a legitimate. For small businesses that was going to be really tough," said Wiggs.
Attorneys representing Oklahoma businesses say instead of going after their clients, it's time for Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform.
Moore state Representative Randy Terrill authored House Bill 1804 and says he's disappointed by the ruling but not surprised. Terrill called Judge Cauthron's decision a blatant act of judicial activism.
The final judgment in Chamber of Commerce of the United States vs. Henry is still pending.
Attorney General Drew Edmondson must defend challenges to the law and says he'll try to overcome the hurdle when a hearing is scheduled on a request for a permanent injunction.
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