A push to postpone Oklahoma's controversial immigration law has failed. On Wednesday, a federal judge
to keep the law from taking effect. Starting today, House Bill 1804 makes it tougher for illegal immigrants to live and work in Oklahoma. However, the fight over the law is not over yet. The Coalition of Hispanic Leaders were fighting to keep House Bill 1804 from going into effect on Thursday. They filed for a temporary injunction claiming the state does not have the authority to regulate immigration. They say that is a job for the federal government.

A federal judge denied their request Wednesday evening saying they did not have any evidence to prove their case. However, The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports this is by no means an end to the legal battle, but it is a victory for those who support 1804 and its goals.

It was standing room only inside the federal courtroom Wednesday, and many lingered outside after the hearing. Emotions ran high, tempers flared and the war of words got pretty heated.

"So, Mr. Sheriff of Tulsa County, Mr. Director or Chief of Police of the City of Tulsa, you are guilty of ethnic cleansing in this community. You are going against my community," Miguel Rivera of the National Coalition of Latin Clergy said after Wednesday's hearing.

"I do not wish to go to Mexico or El Salvador or Guatemala or Latin American countries on vacation, nor do I care to move there, but I will be damned if I sit by quietly while Mexico moves here," Dan Howard of outragedpatriots.com said.

Members of several groups opposing illegal immigration, like the Tulsa Minuteman Project and IRON or Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now, showed their support for House Bill 1804 on Wednesday. They insist the law is not about race.

"If you're legal you're welcome here, we welcome you, we don't care what color your skin is, what your background is, what your ethnicity is, this is about rule of law," said Howard.

While the National Hispanic Clergy and their lawyers argue Oklahoma has stepped over its bounds and into federal territory, supporters say they have the right to act.

"If the federal government is going to continue to drop the ball regarding illegal immigration it's going to have to be up to the states to take care of their own communities," Wendell Neal of the Tulsa Minuteman Project said.

"We are not going to watch our state turn into a third world nation, because our legislators at the federal level won't do their job," said Dan Howard.

Those opposed to the new law say they are not giving up just yet.

"We will appeal to the 10th Circuit Court. We will not stop for going all the way up, even if it's necessary to go to the Supreme Court," said Miguel Rivera of the National Coalition of Latin Clergy.

Opponents like Miguel Rivera from the National Coalition of Latin Clergy believe the law will harm immigrants living in Oklahoma. They say it has already sent more than 20,000 Hispanic people out of Oklahoma.

Wednesday's ruling does not end the legal battle over HB 1804. There is still a lawsuit contesting the constitutionality of the law. The federal judge in this case will consider a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, next week.

Originally aired 10/31/2007 8:46 PM - Updated 11/1/2007 7:59 AM