Police Chief Discusses HB 1804

Wednesday, November 28th 2007, 5:05 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's new immigration law took effect one month ago on Thursday. House Bill 1804 is still controversial and some say, has spread fear among the Hispanic community of racial profiling and widespread deportations. The News On 6’s Steve Berg reports Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer spoke to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce about those concerns on Wednesday.

Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer feels confident that over time, the real effects of House Bill 1804 will not be the same as current fears.

"If we continue to give people the facts of the situation and we continue to work together to resolve a very emotional situation, we're all going to be alright,” said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Chief Palmer says the city will only enforce 1804 where it applies to transporting and sheltering illegals. He told the chamber audience how many times that's happened since the law took effect.

"Zero. None. We have made no arrests on 1804 since November 1st,” said Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer.

Lonnie Vaughn runs a mission to help the Hispanic community at a Tulsa Baptist Church, and likes what the chief had to say. But, he worries if even a small number of officers are prejudiced.

"And that's still my concern. What does it take, 20, 25, 30 people with badges and guns to wreak havoc on a group of people,” said Lonnie Vaughn.

Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer says they don't stop people to check immigration status, but he stressed if you don't have a driver's license, no matter your race, you're in trouble.

"If you're driving drunk, and you don't have papers, and you wind up getting stopped, you're going to be arrested,” said Chief Ron Palmer.

Watch the video: Police Chief Talks To Hispanic Chamber

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