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Oklahoma House panel backs comprehensive anti-illegal immigration measure

BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Published: March 1, 2011

A House committee approved a bill Monday that would give law enforcement officials more authority to check the immigration status of motorists. Its author said the measure mirrors some parts of Arizona's anti-illegal immigrant law passed last year.

The House Judiciary Committee also approved a bill that would prohibit foreign laws from being enforced in state courtrooms.

Rep. Sally Kern, the bill's author, said it mirrors a ballot measure approved in November by state voters, but has been legally challenged.

“The intent is that we have American laws for Oklahoma courts,” she said.

Both measures now go to the full House of Representatives.

One immigration bill

Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee, said his measure, House Bill 1446, would be a wide-ranging anti-illegal immigrant law. It's intended to be the only anti-illegal immigration measure to be passed this year, said Faught, who is co-chairman of a special joint committee to develop immigration proposals.

“Instead of creating a whole bunch of bills out there, the intent is to just run one immigration bill,” he said.

Faught said his measure would not seek to deny citizenship to babies born to illegal immigrants.

HB 1446, which the committee passed 12-3, would allow police to question people about their immigration status and to confiscate property — including homes and vehicles — belonging to those in the country illegally.

The measure would not allow racial profiling, Faught said. Motorists would have to be stopped for committing traffic violations, he said.

Faught said his measure, which is still being developed, includes language from Arizona's anti-illegal immigrant law into Oklahoma's anti-immigrant measure, HB 1804, that was approved in 2007. Both laws have drawn legal challenges.

The big problem with State Question 755 was that it specifically mentioned one religion.”

Rep. Sally Kern,

R-Oklahoma City

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