Oklahomans React To New Immigration Law Ruling

Monday, June 25th 2012, 5:43 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The Supreme Court struck down several parts of Arizona's immigration law Monday.

The Court did not strike down one of the more controversial aspects of the law - requiring police to check the immigration status of anyone they stop for another reason.

The decision has an immediate effect on Arizona, where most of the state's immigration law was struck down, but the possible implication on Oklahoma's law isn't clear to the front line people enforcing it.

They're still waiting for word on how to handle the President's executive order on underage immigrants.

Tulsa County Undersheriff Tim Albin said Monday, "Until we get those documents back from Homeland Security or ICE, we'll just keep doing business like we're doing."

The ruling is a mixed bag, according to Reverend Leonard Busch, who supports the needs of immigrants through his church.

He says they face a constantly changing legal landscape,and this partial decision adds to that.

"In isolation, just the requirement that you have to had the papers isn't the answer, but that might be part of the solution," said Busch.

When Oklahoma changed state laws on immigration, it sparked an outcry and warnings that racial profiling would become common.

Undersheriff Albin says he's not aware of anyone ever being prosecuted under the Oklahoma law, but Reverend Busch says it frightened many immigrants, both legal and illegal.

"The population stats hadn't changed that much, but people have become very, very cautious," said Busch.

Albin said law enforcement here doesn't stop people just because they might be an illegal immigrant.

"If someone gets arrested, when they're booked into jail, their status is checked, and if they're illegal they've got a whole other set of problems beyond what they're being booked for, so it's not really changed the way we do business," said Albin.