DENVER — An appeals court refused Monday to reconsider its decision barring Oklahoma from enforcing key parts of a law intended to crack down on the hiring of illegal immigrants.
The decision by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is a blow to state officials and other advocates of House Bill 1804, the anti-illegal immigration law passed in 2007. "We had obviously hoped the court would rule in our favor and thought there was an opportunity for that to happen, or we would not have pursued it,” said Charlie Price, a spokesman for the Oklahoma attorney general’s office. On Feb. 2, a three-judge panel of the Denver-based court ruled two provisions of the law were unenforceable. One would prohibit employers from retaining undocumented workers while firing legal workers. The other would require businesses working with private contractors obtain documentation that workers are here legally or, without paperwork, withhold taxes at the top rate. Eleven Oklahoma legislators and the group Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now joined the state last month in petitioning for a rehearing by the full court. The case now will go back to U.S.