Dan Boren Says OK Immigration Bill will be Irrelevant after November

OKPNS recently observed that HB 1804, aimed at penalizing employers and landlords that hire and rent to illegal aliens isn’t quite having the anticipated effect, because it is not being enforced.

Perhaps, as we suggested, it is because Oklahoma business owners have been intimidated by the threat of being sued at the Federal level for discrimination if they try to obey the law at the local level. Or, perhaps business owners have been listening to Dan Boren:

After the presidential election, I think we’re more likely to have federal legislation that will pre-empt a lot of what’s going on at the state and local level…I think we’re going to see some type of bill like [the one proposed by President Bush]. I think it’ll pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president…It’s going to be very contentious. I’d like to get this off the table as an issue so we can go forward.

And why not? There are three leading contenders for President of the United States now…two Democrats, and one who is technically a Republican who wants to be a Democrat.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY):

I neither support illegal immigration nor the enactment of fruitless schemes that would penalize churches and hospitals for helping the truly needy. That will not fix the mess we are in.

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL):

Millions of undocumented immigrants live and work here without our knowing their identity or their background. We need to strike a workable bargain with them. They have to acknowledge that breaking our immigration laws was wrong. They must pay a penalty, and abide by all of our laws going forward. They must earn the right to stay over a 6-year period, and then they must wait another 5 years as legal permanent residents before they become citizens.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill of 2005:

A nonimmigrant alien…shall not be denied any right or any remedy under Federal, State, or local labor or employment law that would be applicable to a United States worker employed in a similar position with the employer because of the alien’s status as a nonimmigrant worker…An employer shall provide nonimmigrants issued a visa under this section with the same wages, benefits, and working conditions that are provided by the employer to United States workers similarly employed in the same occupation and the same place of employment.

Even Oklahoma’s Randy Terrill (R-Moore) who wrote OK HB 1804 is now saying that he won’t pursue the expansion of the immigration reform, because after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit, questioning the constitutionality of the bill, support for expanding the reforms is weak in the Oklahoma legislature.

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