Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Local News > Great Plains > Oklahoma State Laws Aimed at Driving Out Illegal Population Backfire on Legislators

Oklahoma State Laws Aimed at Driving Out Illegal Population Backfire on Legislators

LatinaLista — It’s been the trend across the country for state legislators to stand behind their respective chamber podiums, declare they’re doing the will of the people and proceed to create and pass laws aimed at making life so uncomfortable for undocumented immigrants that they will feel they have no other option but to leave the state.

What state legislators in Oklahoma didn’t count on after passing such a punitive measure against the undocumented was that some citizens would be ready to drive them out of the state — if they could renew their licenses to do it.

Oklahoma legislators passed House Bill 1804, otherwise known as the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizenship Protection Act of 2007.
Among its many provisions aimed at rooting out the undocumented is one regarding driver’s licenses. Obviously, undocumented immigrants are denied driving legally in the state. For some reason, legislators, and Oklahoma is not alone in this line of reasoning, think that the undocumented are going to stand in line in a public place with department of motor vehicle officers nearby and try to lie their way into getting a sanctioned mug shot.
Because of that, authors of the legislation were going to stay two steps ahead of the undocumented. They decided, within HB 1804, to issue new Oklahoma ID cards for every legal resident. Those Oklahomans who got their licenses on or after November 1 are good to go.
But woe to those whose licenses need to be renewed or are just applying for their first Oklahoma ID — the caca is only now hitting the fan.
As today’s editorial in the Oklahoman laid out:

If legislators do nothing else during the session that begins next month, they must find a way to change a law that has been wreaking havoc on law-abiding citizens since it went into effect Nov. 1…
Ask anyone who has inadvertently let their driver’s license expire how much fun it was to get that taken care of. Legislators may not mind wasting three or four hours, or more, during a workday, but most hardworking Oklahomans do.
HB 1804 was aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants. Instead, this portion of the law is creating unnecessary burdens for people who have lived here all their lives. Coming up with a fix must be a priority for lawmakers. In the meantime, check your license, or you may regret it.

Business leaders in the state are also on the attack. Though they opposed the bill to begin with, their agitation with its impact on the state is showing and their patience has worn out.
This week, the CEO of Devon Energy and the Chairman of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber began the discussion at the Chamber’s 2008 Legislative Breakfast by asking legislators in attendance about the bill and reiterating that the business community does not support it.
A second part of HB 1804 that directly affects business hirings goes into effect on July 1. The business community already knows there will be problems.
One particular legislator who has taken up the crusade to drive out the illegally arrived, Randy Terrill, is even talking about a “son of HB 1804.” Thankfully, some of his fellow Republicans have more sense and have seen the havoc the current bill is already creating in the state.

State Rep. Danny Morgan, D-Prague, confirmed some of the chamber’s fears with anecdotes he’s heard from business owners near the state’s border with Texas.
“I talked with a contractor this week from the Madill, Marietta, Ardmore area,” said Morgan, leader of the Democrat minority in the state House. “He’s lost a third of his work force to a contractor in Texas, who now comes back across the line with his former work force, works in Oklahoma, takes those dollars back to Texas, and his statement was, ‘You can’t come get me because your law only applies to an Oklahoma employer.’

There’s no doubt that the local economy will be impacted by laws such as HB 1084.
Doubt it?
A comment in response to the Oklahoma business leaders’ story sheds some additional light:

Be careful to what you are asking for, it can smack you back into reality .
I live here in Arizona where the infamous sheriff of Maricopa county has the” Immigration Fever” and his politics is beginning to hurt in the county pocketbook.
The illegals that were trying to get a work release and come here to work in the low paying sector has been run away. Now the Unions are sending people in to get these jobs, but they want two thirds of a higher salary. Maricopa county is now in financial trouble.
What do we do?

It’s a question that, unfortunately, won’t be asked until it’s too late.

Related posts


  • Frank
    January 18, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    What we will do is return to a nation of laws that holds employers accountable for violating our labor laws, put Americans back to work and make sure that immigration occurs legally. This is a bad thing?

  • Stentor
    January 18, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    That last quote is, I think, an example of short-term thinking that tends to sabotage the progressiveness of pro-migrant policy. We shouldn’t be saying “let immigrants in, because they work cheaper than unionized citizens.” That continues the dangerous dynamics of pitting citizens and unions against immigrants and of allowing immigrants to be exploited by business. We should be saying “let immigrants come in, get unionized, and earn a union-level living.”

  • Evelyn
    January 19, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Oklahoma is not the only one back-tracking on immigration issues. So are the conservatives, and the “Sound of Silence” in Arizona is defining their true stance on immigration issues.
    It seems that after considering “credible evidence”, instead of all the lies being spread by the racists, Arizonans have decided to keep shhhh silent, and inactive, on the immigration issue.
    It seems they finally found out they were WRONG, and no longer wish to be used like “puppets” by the racists who are projecting hate and racism against immigrants and Hispanics. They are discovering it is counter productive.
    Just having arrived from the Nevada caucuses 3 hours ago, where I have been helping the Democratic process of caucusing, I can tell you I spoke to hundreds of ex-Republicans who are appalled with the hate and racism being projected by their party toward immigrants and Hispanics. That is why they have left their party and plan to caucus and vote for one of the Democrats.
    I’m on cloud 9! Totally exhilarating experience! The tide against the immigrants and Hispanics is changing and here is more proof. This is what one conservative group is saying!
    Americas Majority
    Immigration Project
    We are launching a nationwide campaign defending the Bush administration’s approach to comprehensive immigration reform and those who support it.
    The Senate’s failure to to pass S.1639 most obviously affects border security. Congress will enter 2008 without funding for further fence, border agents, or holding beds, and without a system of tamper-proof employee identification. The policy of the U.S. remains what it was: de facto AMNESTY along an uncontrolled border.
    But the collateral damage to the conservative movement, largely self inflicted , is also severe.
    Morally, the popular and formal organs of the political Right invoked such Marxist canards as Ricardo’s iron law of wages and the FICTITIOUS decline of the middle class. The interests of the employers of illegals–farmers, ranchers, food processors, services industries, high tech, and small business – were disregarded at best, deprecated at worst.
    “Politically, the popular and formal organs of the political Right comported themselves as if 32 million Hispanic American Citizens could be DISREGARDED when discussing the fate of 12 million Hispanic illegals, and as if the demographics of the West and South were irrelevant.
    A substantial portion of the political Right fell pray to the TALK RADIO FED DELUSION that support for deportation of the illegals exceeded support for their amnesty among the general public. The true is precisely opposite, as polling by the Americas Majority Foundation has confirmed. By a margin of two to one , the American public prefers to amnesty illegal aliens, either as guest workers or as eventual citizens.
    The SELF-FED DELUSION of the unpopularity of Hispanic migrant labor led most of the informal organs of the political Right to attack those conservative, pro-Hispanic politicians of the South and West who harbor no such delusions. Regrettably, many of the formal organs of the political right followed suit. In the process, conservative prospects have been SEVERELY DAMAGED in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Texas.
    The website also addresses other issues regarding immigration like:
    The Economist
    The 32 million
    Border Security
    Rule of law
    Litmus Test
    Prosecuting Employers
    Culture War
    And Frankness which I will print here.
    I favor amnesty for illegals if I said, “I agree with you on border security,” or “we must limit their numbers,” it would be true – But it would create a misimpression. Amnesty means you don’t punish someone for a crime. As far as Latino workers are concerned, if illegal entry is the worst they’ve done, I’m for amnesty.
    I only wish the deportation crowd would be equally frank. It’s a dodge to say: “WE’LL STARVE THEM OUT by prosecuting their bosses.”
    By this line of reasoning , it’s not enough to drive 12 million workers to desperation, or to irritate 32 million legal Hispanics. The police must also harass innumerable ranchers, farmers, builders, and small business owners for so called crime of hiring willing labor for needed work.
    Listening to the anti-employer rants on talk radio these days, I wonder: Is it Illegality that the anti immigrant crowd hates?

  • Evelyn
    January 20, 2008 at 6:39 am

    The Sound of Silence
    Arizona has been ground zero in the fight against illegal immigration–but a funny thing happened this week when a new anti-illegal alien law went into effect.
    The law, one of the toughest in the nation, requires jurisdiction to investigate complaints by ordinary citizens against local businesses that may be employing illegal aliens. but apparently most Arizonans have better things to worry about. A spokesman for the state attorney general said his office had received about a half dozen calls. Some jurisdictions, including Pima County, which runs along the border with Mexico, received no complaints. It’s not exactly what you’d expect if Arizonans were chomping at the bit to run illegal aliens out of the state and punish their employers.
    A new study out by the conservative think tank Americas Majority Foundation suggests a possible explanation why more Arizonans aren’t rushing off illegal workers. It turns out Arizonans may be better off — not worse– because of the presence of so many immigrants in the population.
    This sounds counter-intuitive, at least if you believe current political rhetoric and tendentious research by anti-immigrant groups like the Center for Immigration Studies, Numbers USA, and the Federation for American Immigration Reform. But the Americas Majority Foundation data are pretty persuasive. States with the highest percentage of immigrants or the largest recent influx of immigrants–19 High immigrant Jurisdictions (HIJ’s) in all–are wealthier, have better employment numbers and most have better crime figures than those with fewer immigrants.
    In Arizona, for example, personal income is higher, as is the gross state product, the measure of all economic activity in the state. Unemployment is lower, as is household poverty. And crime is lower than both the national average and the average among states with fewer immigrants.
    And the trends for HIJ’s are every bit as good as the absolute numbers. Not only are GSP, personal income per capita personal income, disposable income, per capita disposable income, median household income, per capita median personal income higher than in other states, but they have been growing at a faster rates between 1999 and 2006 than in other states.
    In the area of crime, the trends are especially encouraging for HIJ’s. The 10 high influx states, those that experience the most dramatic percentage increases of immigrant population from 2000-2007, had one of the lowest rates of violent crime and total crime, according to FBI figures. In 1999, the 19 HIJ’s did have higher crime rates, but the rates declined much faster than they did in lower immigration states over the next seven years: 13.6 percent faster compared with 7.1 percent in total crimes and 15 percent compared with 1.2 percent in violent crime, leading to lower crime rates over all in HIJ’s in 2006.
    These statistics don’t suggest that illegal immigration is not a problem for many jurisdictions. Illegal immigrants do impose costs, including increased health care and education expenses. Ironically, one of the growing costs is for incarcerating illegal aliens picked up in immigration raids or for offences that usually don’t justify jail time. These increases are a direct result of efforts to crack down on illegal immigration. And if states like Arizona decide to vigorously enforce their new laws, we can expect to see these costs go up without much, if any, offset in savings to those jurisdictions.
    The immigration debate is likely to continue untempered by the facts the Americas Majority Foundation has pulled together, at least through the political primary season. But the overwhelming majority of Americans two-thirds to three-fourths, according to most polls– have no wish to see most long-term illegal alien residents rounded up and sent home. What they do want is a more concerted effort to secure the border so the numbers don’t keep increasing.
    Citing a November Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, the Manhattan Institutes Tamar Jacoby noted recently that “63% of Democrats, 64% of Republicans and 57% of independents favor allowing illegal immigrants who meet certain conditions, to earn citizenship over time.”
    Jacoby points out that politicians don’t seem to be listening. But if we can get through 2008, maby the sound of silence emanating from places like Arizona will finally be heard.
    Written by Linda Chavez

  • Jax
    January 20, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Frank, again, is right. It is not a bad thing!
    This is a nation of laws and those who can’t obey them should be penalized. Illegals should be repatriated as quickly as possible and emloyers should pay Americans or legal immigrants whatever rate market forces decide.
    If allowed to continue illegals will creat a permanent underclass in this country.

  • angry america
    January 22, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    Yet another way beaner-nation is making it harder on the Real Americans!

  • Cheryl in Texas
    January 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    HB 1804 is something that ALL states should adopt. Rather than scream “racist” I think that everyone should stop at ILLEGAL which means “against the law”. If people want to come to the US legally, that is fine. However, if ANY person is in the US illegally, he/she should have no rights, be eligible for no benefits, including ANY health care, should not be allowed to attend school, get a job or be able to obtain a driver’s license, AND any child born to “illegals” SHOULD NOT BE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. Illegals are financially crippling our school systems and healthcare. Why should a person living and working in the US need an interpreter? I live in Texas and there is so much written in Spanish here that I often wonder what country I am living in. If one is going to live and work in a country the least one could do is learn the language – most don’t or won’t. The prevalent problem, it seems to me, is that mexicans don’t want to be Americans of hispanic descent, they want to be mexicans living in the US. As a professor said in a speech here not too long ago “the problem is not immigration but integration. How much longer is it going to be before we have to start yelling “REMEMBER THE ALAMO” once again, to win our state back!!!!!!

  • Horace
    January 22, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Marisa and Evelyn are just thinking wishfully. Evelyn is usually on peyote, so we can expect continued rosy projections in the face of obvious disaster for her constituency. Businesses that hire illegal aliens have been and will continue to make specious and vocal claims that the economy will fail without illegal immigrants. This country is heading into a recession and the first people to feel it are the unskilled and ill educated, who are the least adaptable to change. Illegal immigrants from Central and South America work predominantly in the agricultural, home building and service industries. Home building is stalling, with tens of thousands of illegal aliens out looking for new work. Eventually, the service industries will have to shrink due to implimentation of economies by their customers. Belt tightening is the hallmark of a recession. Employers of illegal immigrants will come under increasing scrutiny as state after state denies them driver’s licenses, places constraints on housing rental. Farmers will look to mechanical harvesting to replace migrant workers, as the complexity of hiring them becomes too onerous. Once ICE is through with the criminal element, it will go after document fraud. Look for an expansion of raids in the near future. When Billary or Barack is defeated in the next election Mitt will tighten the screws even further. Congress will revert back to the Republicans, after all, their oponents have the worst ever ratings with the voters.
    See any gremlins in those smokey dreams, Evelyn? You’re on………..

  • Evelyn
    January 22, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    Imagine if I went to a forum and posted “yet another way white trash is making it harder on us Real Americans!”
    My stupidity and Ignorance would be showing I have nothing to debate with except childish name calling. The only time you tag a person with a name is when they tag themselves.

  • Horace
    January 22, 2008 at 9:18 pm

    LOL. “White trash” lab els, rants calling people racists and other names is part of your stock-in-trade, Evelyn, so you shouldn’t be so sensitive. Drop us a line from Mexico City after you’re deported and working of $2.00 per day.

  • Frank
    January 22, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Pot, kettle, black.

  • Evelyn
    January 23, 2008 at 1:12 am

    This is what a variety of intelligent people say to those who adhere to the “nation of laws” theory.
    This is what you can do with your “rule of law.”
    Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty there must be spirit of tolerance of the entire population.
    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
    Good laws have their origins in bad morals.
    Ambrosius Macrobius
    Where you find the laws most numerous, there you will find also the greatest injustice.
    Even when laws have been written down, they ought not always to remain unaltered.
    Aristotle (384BC-322BC)
    A law is something which must have a moral bases, so that there is an inner compelling force for every person to obey.
    Chaim Weizmann (1874-1952)
    The strictest law often causes the most serious harm.
    Cicero (106BC-43BC)
    The welfare of the people is the ultimate law.
    Cicero (106BC-43BC)
    The U.S. is a nation of laws, badly written and randomly enforced.
    Frank Zappa (1940-1993)
    I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscious tells is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over it’s injustice, is in reality the highest respect for the law.
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Evelyn
    January 23, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Well Well, look what the cat drug in. Hello Horace, such a pity you still disgrace this forum with your presence.
    Marisa and I were not the author of any of the articles showing that the racist side is loosing favor, so how would you conclude what they say as our “wishing thinking?”
    Then you really get dizzy and speak of “the obvious disaster for my constituency”, haven’t you read………are you able to comprehend when you
    read how well the democrats are doing.
    It seems now they are set to gain 10 new seats in Congress! Wow!
    Oh, you should have told me you were out there partyin with the Locos, an livin la vida loca. Boy, no wonder you cant get anything right!
    You know that peyote you sent me, well I turned it over to the DEA, you know the rule of law and all. I think you can expect a knock at the door any day now, they might want to interrogate you. geesh just the thought of water-boarding.

  • Evelyn
    January 23, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Angry America states,
    “yet another way beaner-nation is making it harder on the Real Americans.”
    so I ask, Imagine if I went to a forum and posted: “yet another way white trash is making it harder on the Real Americans.”
    Now Frank being the gentleman that he is, agreed with me that making that statement was ignorant and stupid like I suggested, by stating, pot, kettle, black.
    And than here comes la LOCA Horace! He decided the white trash shoe, FIT! Ha! Ha!…..just walked right into it.
    Hay Horace, they don’t deport AMERICAN CITIZENS, so your going to have to keep dreaming.
    O and by the way, when I do go to my summer home in San Miguel de Allende this summer, you can always vacation in your back yard with a dog and barbecue hot dogs. LOL!

  • Frank
    January 23, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    As I have said before, most of the forums that I have read dealing with the illegal immigration issue, it is usually the pro-illegals who start with the insults no matter how civil an anti-illegal is in debatiing the issue. Most all pro-illegals continually pull the race card and resort to personal attacks on those who don’t hold their views. Many are also of the reconquista mindset. Which borders on treason.

  • Evelyn
    January 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Are you defending yourself Frank, you have no reason to. As you can see I have only had nothing but praise for you.

  • Frank
    January 24, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Praise? Do you have Aldheimers?

  • Evelyn
    January 24, 2008 at 6:59 pm

    Yes Frank, I told you I would not say anything to you as long as you did not demonize immigrants with lies. I have not seen you do that, so I have left you alone. Everyone has a right to express his or her opinion like you have, but when people lie about others, they should expect that maby someone will come along and call them on those lies. It’s not OK to lie about others.
    I even praised you for being a gentleman, and the praise was genuine. That is why I am puzzled as to why you would ask if I have alzheimer’s? That is why I also asked why you were defending yourself? I wasnt saying anything negative about you.

    January 25, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    To some a lie is anything that contradicts their point of view or their stand on an issue. These types are usually considered as radical or fanatical and view themselves as an undisputable authority on eveything. I do not pretend to be an expert of any issue, but I do know the difference between legal and illegal, documented and undocumented and immigrant and alien. Those that keep blurring these labels together have no business giving advise on how to resolve anything represented in this blog. With their own private agendas to achieve, it is impossible for them to think in a rational manner and when all else fails resort to degrading remarks, name calling and the race card.

    January 25, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Alzheimers? Isn’t that an afflection of a mature mind? She couldn’t possibly have that.

  • Evelyn
    January 26, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Just because you cant walk and chew gum at the same time doesnt mean we all cant.
    I have a mature mind, but I’m also young at heart!

  • Destiny
    February 20, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    Why should we send illegal immigrants back if our founding fathers where illegal. They didnt have a green card stating that they were allowed here why should we make new immigrants have to provide one? Why should kids that are illegal have to be sent back when their parents are the reason they are here. Some kids have been here since they where young and now they are 16 or 17 and being sent back. Why should they be sent to a place, most dont even remeber. America is the land of the free and the home of the brave, but it isnt so free any more. I am a junior in High school and my best friends are illegal and one is fixing to be sent back, he hasnt been to his home country since he was 3, this country , America, is the only home he has. To me that is just wrong if you argree with me or would like to share you thoughts with me you can reach me at
    thank you for taking the time to read this.

Comments are closed.