State Appeals Court Sidesteps Immigration Dispute

Wednesday, November 14th 2007, 6:38 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals decides not to get involved in the fight over the state's new immigration law, at least not yet.
The court Tuesday directed Oklahoma County District Judge Jerry Bass to respond to an emergency application filed last week asking for the release of two men Bass sent to jail after they acknowledged their immigration status.

Attorney Joan Lopez contends Bass doesn't have authority to question defendants on their immigration status under state immigration law.

Lopez says the law that took effect November 1st is unconstitutional.

She filed a challenge to the law and the judge's decision to jail Luis Mauricio Ochoa and Gregorio Robles, but the state appeals court isn't ready to take jurisdiction.

The court is awaiting a response either the district attorney's office of the state Attorney General to Lopez's challenge.

For complete coverage of Oklahoma's new immigration reform law, click here.