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Oklahoma House passes anti-illegal immigrant bill

Oklahoma House Bill 1446 is patterned somewhat after Arizona's bill, which was passed last year. It now goes to the Senate.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: March 11, 2011

The House overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday that would give federally trained state and local law enforcement officials more authority to check the immigration status of motorists.

House Bill 1446 includes part of Arizona's anti-illegal immigrant law passed last year, bill author Rep. George Faught said. The measure won House approval 85-7. It now goes to the Senate.

Faught, R-Muskogee, said HB 1446 would be a wide-ranging anti-illegal immigrant law. It's intended to be the only anti-illegal immigration law passed this year, said Faught, who also is co-chairman of a special joint legislative committee to develop immigration bills.

“This is a work in progress so there may be areas where we tighten some of that language up,” Faught said. The joint legislative committee hopes to hold a public meeting on the measures later this month, he said.

“We want to make sure the conversation's broad, and the bill is narrowed down to issues that we actually can affect,” he said.

Faught said only one section is similar to a part of the Arizona law being challenged in court. It may be taken out later, he said.

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