Oklahoma State Lawmakers Working On Bill That Would Create Criminal Penalties On Illegal Immigrants

House Speaker Charles McCall said the goal of the proposed law is to make Oklahoma the least attractive state in the nation for illegal immigrants.

Thursday, April 11th 2024, 10:39 pm

By: News On 6


State lawmakers say they're working on a bill that would create criminal penalties to crack down on illegal immigrants in Oklahoma.

Leaders in the House and Senate announced the joint legislation on Thursday.

It comes after Attorney General Gentner Drummond urged lawmakers in March to pass a law that would enable law enforcement officers to arrest illegal immigrants.

House Speaker Charles McCall said the goal of the proposed law is to make Oklahoma the least attractive state in the nation for illegal immigrants.

The bill would create a crime of "impermissible occupation", which means entering Oklahoma without having documents that say they can be in the U.S.

The first time someone is caught breaking the law, they could go to jail for up to a year and be fined up to $500.

They'd also have to leave Oklahoma within 72 hours and would be banned from coming back to the state.

If someone was caught again, they could go to prison for up to two years and have to pay up to $1,000.

It would also make it against the law for places in Oklahoma to become sanctuary cities.

Speaker McCall said he won't allow Oklahoma to become another border state or foot the bill for those in the country illegally.

Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat said he's talked with law enforcement officials and others and believes the bill is necessary to keep Oklahomans safe.

Lawmakers say the bill will be filed next week and hope to pass it quickly so Governor Kevin Stitt can sign it.

A similar law that passed in Texas is on hold after a U.S. court blocked enforcement.

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