Tulsa Attorney, Resident Reacts To Oklahoma's New Illegal Immigration Law

Governor Kevin Stitt said the state's new illegal immigration law will protect Oklahomans, but a Tulsa attorney worries it could cause more mistrust and fear among immigrant communities.

Wednesday, May 1st 2024, 5:52 pm

By: News On 6


-

Governor Kevin Stitt said the state's new illegal immigration law will protect Oklahomans, but a Tulsa attorney worries it could cause more mistrust and fear among immigrant communities.

It makes it against the law to be an illegal immigrant in the state and allows local law officers to make arrests.

A woman who came to Tulsa from Mexico two decades ago told News On 6 that it makes her scared for her family.

A day after the Oklahoma governor signed a new immigration enforcement bill into law, Tulsa attorney Lorena Rivas said the calls are coming in.

"Clients have been very worried and they’ve been asking a lot of questions as in are they going to be protected because they’re just starting the process," Rivas said.

Her clients include people who entered the United States illegally and are now trying to find a way to get legal status.

State law allows local law enforcement to arrest people for being in the country illegally.

Gov. Stitt said this does not permit officers to profile people.

"If a police officer in Oklahoma arrests someone, that's when they would check to see if someone is there legally or illegally," Gov. Stitt said.

In addition to a potential fine and jail time, a conviction means people would have to leave the state within 72 hours.

People like Wendy Miramontes and her family, who came to Tulsa 20 years ago. She was 2.

Wendy is a DACA recipient but still worries about being racially profiled under this new law. She's even more concerned about her family members who have no legal status.

"We've been here 20+ years, this is all we know, so it is frightening to potentially have that taken away from us," Miramontes said.

Rivas said to wait and see, knowing a law like this will likely have legal challenges even before it goes into effect in July.

logo

Get The Daily Update!

Be among the first to get breaking news, weather, and general news updates from News on 6 delivered right to your inbox!

More Like This

May 1st, 2024

May 30th, 2024

May 30th, 2024

May 30th, 2024

Top Headlines

June 23rd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024

June 22nd, 2024