Governor Henry Still Undecided On Immigration Reform Bill

Wednesday, May 2nd 2007, 10:22 am
By: News On 6

Now that an immigration reform bill is on Governor Henry's desk, some say it's very confusing. It's no wonder the bill is confusing to some. It's very long. There are more than two dozen pages of amendments. News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports it's up to Henry to decide if House Bill 1804 and Citizen Protection Act of 2007 will become a law.

Before he does, some vow to protest, saying the bill is bad for Oklahoma, its people and the economy, but state legislatures say the bill protects Americans and prevents illegal immigrants from taking advantage of taxpayer funded services.

Under the bill, a person would have to be documented to receive public benefits. Immigration status must be verified before issuing identification cards. Employers can not knowingly hire undocumented workers. Under the bill, it would also be illegal for any person to knowingly transport or attempt to transport any illegals, but Senator James Williamson of Tulsa says under the senate amendments to the bill, charities, hospitals and emergency services are exempt. Undocumented people may also get assistance during natural disasters.

Families who harbor loved ones are not protected. If caught, they could be convicted of a felony. It carries up to a year in prison and up to a $1,000 dollar fine.

Another point of concern is the role of law enforcement. At a town hall meeting last month in east Tulsa, the sheriff's office said it would not go door-to-door searching for illegals. A sheriff's representative says the office would only check the citizenship status of those who had been arrested for a crime.

Governor Henry says his mind isn't made up yet. Until then, a mass letter writing campaign is underway. A petition is also in circulation, and on Saturday a group plans to rally at Central High School.

Watch the video: Breaking Down The Immigration Reform Bill

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