Archive for the ‘HB1804’ Category

Tom Price Wants to Show Oklahomans "A Better Way"

March 6, 2008

We said that after maps for millionaires passes, the anti 1804 forces (chambers of commerce) would spring to life, and they have.

OKPNS also reported that the U.S. and State Chambers were suing to repeal HB 1804, Oklahoma’s immigration reform bill.

Tom Price, of Chesapeake Energy, according to The Oklahoman, “is forming a nonprofit group called A Better Way Oklahoma to more humanely and responsibly address the state’s immigration woes. As part of that process, the group will conduct town hall meetings throughout the state to assess citizen input and concerns.”

The McCarville Report writes:

A group calling itself “A Better Way Oklahoma” appears ready to launch an all-out attack on the state’s new immigration law that began life as Rep. Randy Terrill’s House Bill 1804.

Word of the group’s formation came today in an interview in The Oklahoman in which Tom Price Jr., senior vice president of corporate development for Chesapeake Energy, discusses the new law. The thrust of the article is that Leadership Oklahoma City alumni invited Terrill and others to a Wednesday debate on the bill, but none “were able to participate.”

[…]

Price said the group will sponsor town hall meetings across the state to “assess citizen input and concerns.”

According to The Oklahoman:

Price said there’s an expected exodus of 250,000 Hispanics from Oklahoma in the coming years as a result of HB 1804. He said as he started to understand broader economic implications, he brought those concerns to several state legislators who supported the bill. He said he was told not to worry about the bill because “we didn’t allocate any enforcement dollars.”

The group is apparently not convinced by U.S. Representative Dan Boren’s (D-OK) opinion that the legislation will be irrelevant after the presidential elections in November, or that the expected mass exodus simply isn’t happening.

Back in February, we hinted the Oklahoma press corps would largely ignore the story, and we were right. But little did we know that the state’s out-of-touch and ineffective business lobby would spring their double cross so soon after the vote.

Furthering the irony, United States Senator James Inhofe has been quoted in today’s McCarville Report gently telling the group, in essence, to pipe down. Poll after poll shows the public overwhelmingly approve of the measure, and even the misguided business group’s own internal polling shows no education campaign, regardless of the amount spent, will dissuade the voters from their position.

Why would business groups pursue an effort that will anger voters and ultimately fail? One insider says lobbyists and con men will make big bucks on the effort:

Price is just an employee. If he screws up, they can cut their losses. As usual lobbyists, lawyers and ‘public affairs specialists’ have talked these naive business leaders into dropping big bucks on this, which will end up in the con artists’ pocket. Con artists are just part of the landscape at the state capitol when it comes to anything dubbed ‘reform,’ such a ‘tort reform and ‘workers’ compensation reform.’

While the states’ leading newspapers continue to ignore the obvious, we’ll keep on following this explosive developing story.

Dan Boren Says OK Immigration Bill will be Irrelevant after November

March 6, 2008

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.

David Braddock (D-Altus) Fighting to Keep Illegal Immigrants in Oklahoma

February 11, 2008

The A.P. is reporting on OK HB 2445 (Which attempts to repeal OK HB 1804):

A southwest Oklahoma lawmaker has filed legislation to repeal a state law that targets illegal immigrants, but the chairman of a legislative committee said Friday its chances of being considered are slim.

State Rep. David Braddock, D-Altus, said he wants to repeal provisions of the anti-illegal immigrant law to help out farmers and businesses in his district who have struggled to find workers since the law went into effect last year.

[…]

Braddock said the law “has created a huge sense of fear” within Latino communities and families.

“They’re absolutely afraid of staying here,” he said. “They think Oklahoma doesn’t want them. I don’t think that’s what Oklahoma is about.”

Braddock’s bill would repeal the legal ban on allowing undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities, receive public entitlement assistance or get state driver’s licenses, ID cards and occupational licenses, according to the author of House Bill 1804, state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore.

It would also prevent state and local law enforcement agencies from enforcing the bill’s employment provisions.

To read OK HB 2445, click here.