Hispanic Leaders Announce Lawsuit

Friday, September 28th 2007, 6:21 am
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's Immigration Reform is in the spotlight again. Among other things, House Bill 1804 makes it illegal to harbor or transport undocumented aliens and makes it illegal for businesses to hire them, or for them to receive government benefits. HB 1804 takes effect November 1, 2007, but as The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports, Hispanic leaders are vowing to stop it before it starts.

The Reverend Miguel Rivera from the National Coalition of Latin Clergy and Christian Leaders announced Friday it will file a lawsuit in federal court against Oklahoma's Immigration Reform Law, and seek an immediate injunction against it.

"The 1804 is a frivolous law, a frivolous law," Reverend Miguel Rivera, Coalition of Latin Clergy and Christian Leaders said.

Rivera says they will argue the law is unconstitutional and that federal law supersedes state law in this case, sometimes referred to as the pre-emptive doctrine of the constitution.

"We have sufficient evidence that the pre-emptive doctrine, it's being violated by 1804," said Rivera.

Reverend Rivera says while his group opposes the Oklahoma law, it supports some kind of comprehensive immigration reform.

"We support the strengthening of our borders. We are on record, and we support that our borders need to be secure," Reverend Miguel Rivera said. "But in reality, we have also to understand there is no will to deport 12-million people from this country."

Even before the state law is due to take effect next month, Rivera says by their estimates one-quarter of the Tulsa area's Hispanic population is gone, either on their own or through deportation.

"For the reports that I am getting, over 20,000 members of our community have already left," said Rivera.

The News On 6 talked with State Senator James Williamson, one of the supporters of the bill. He feels confident the law will be upheld. Senator Williamson says they worked very hard with legal staff on the pre-emptive issue and says they're sure they met constitutional requirements.

Watch the video: Group To File Lawsuit Against Immigration Reform Law

To read H.B. 1804, click here.

Related Stories:

3/5/2007 Green Country Hispanics Fight New Immigration Bill

4/3/2007 Controversial Immigration Bill Closer To Becoming Law

4/16/2007 State Senate Approves Sweeping Immigration Legislation

4/19/2007 Hispanics Speak Out Against Immigration Legislation

5/1/2007 State House Sends Immigration Reform Bill To The Governor

5/1/2007 Hispanic Leaders Say State Immigration Bill Will Not Work

5/2/2007 Governor Henry Still Undecided On Immigration Reform Bill

5/8/2007 Governor Signs Sweeping Immigration Reform Bill

5/8/2007 Controversial Immigration Bill Signed Into Law

5/9/2007 Local Business Could See A Boost Thanks To A New Immigration Law

5/9/2007 Immigration Law Creates New Rules For Oklahoma Employers

5/22/2007 Tulsa City Council Mulls Immigration Plan

5/24/2007 Still No Decision In Tulsa Immigration Plan

5/25/2007 City Council Passes New Immigration Ordinance

5/31/2007 Key Officials Meet To Discuss The City's Immigration Policy

6/2/2007 Debate Continues On Immigration Reform

6/2/2007 Tackling The Immigration Issue

6/19/2007 State Chamber Critical Of New Law

7/31/2007 Group Sets Up Fund To Fight Immigration Law

8/1/2007 Group Uses Billboards To Protest Immigration Legislation

8/22/2007 Immigration Bill Fears Not Affecting Attendance Of Hispanic Students

8/29/2007 - Home Builders Say Immigration Reform Could Cause Delays

9/25/2007 Panel Questions Constitutionality Of Immigration Law

9/26/2007 Religious Leader Calls Immigration Forum