Gov. Signs, Questions Okla. Anti-Immigrant Bill
Posted May 10, 2007 4:29 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
An anti-immigrant bill signed by the Oklahoma state governor this week won't be effective until Nov. 1, but is already raising concerns about how it will be enforced.
Among those expressing such concerns, the Houston Chronicle reports: Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat. "State leaders should closely monitor the impact of [the law] in the months and years to come to ensure that it doesn't have any unintended consequences," Henry said Tuesday, after signing it into law.
The new law requires employers to screen workers to make sure they are legal, denies state services to illegal immigrants, and makes it a crime to harbor one. Although the total number of undocumented immigrants in the state is estimated as a relatively scant 75,000 or less, the law's sponsor, State Rep. Randy Terrell, a Republican, says his law is intended to make sure the problem remains minor by discouraging illegal immigration to the state.
Two other states currently have similar laws, according to the Chronicle: Colorado and Georgia.