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HB 1804 Decision Brings On Mixed Feelings

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Sebastian Lantos says it is nice to finally get a win in the ongoing debate over illegal aliens Sebastian Lantos says it is nice to finally get a win in the ongoing debate over illegal aliens
Carol Helm blames the plaintiffs for filing the lawsuit that lead to this temporary injunction. Carol Helm blames the plaintiffs for filing the lawsuit that lead to this temporary injunction.
The new law was going to require businesses to use the e-verify system to make sure a worker is legal. The new law was going to require businesses to use the e-verify system to make sure a worker is legal.

A federal judge has delayed the enforcement of part of Oklahoma's new immigration law, also known as House Bill 1804. It's a decision that has left some Hispanic organizations overjoyed, while angering immigration reform groups.

The News On 6's Chris Wright reports for now, several sections of the law that were set to go into effect July 1st, will not. Some are calling this a victory, others say it is infuriating.

When House Bill 1804 was passed, lawmakers said it would curb the flow of illegal aliens into Oklahoma.

Part of the law went into effect last November. It is now a felony to harbor or transport an illegal alien.

Starting July first, private businesses who hire illegals were to be penalized, but on Wednesday, a U.S. district judge ruled that it is 'substantially likely' that part of the law is unconstitutional.

"Those that have the greatest objection are those that are hiring the slave labor. And that's what it boils down to," said Carol Helm of the Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now.

Starting next month, the new law was going to require businesses to use the e-verify system to make sure a worker is legal. She says that is a simple requirement for employers and hardly unconstitutional.

Helm blames the plaintiffs, which include the Tulsa Metro Chamber of Commerce, for filing the lawsuit that lead to this temporary injunction.

"What is infuriating is that the chamber of commerce stood before a federal judge and actually distorted facts," said Helm.

"I think it's a victory for the state of Oklahoma when we can review these laws by a federal judge," said Sebastian Lantos of the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations.

Lantos says it is nice to finally get a win in the ongoing debate over illegal aliens, but he hopes the decision will inspire both sides to come together, and re-think solutions to the problem.

"We just have to sit down like I do in my business, or a board meeting, and figure out what's best for Oklahoma, what other alternatives do we have," said Lantos.

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