Some Oklahoma business owners to press for immigration reform

Groups favoring immigration reform are sponsoring an event in Washington next week to bring advocates from all over the country. President Barack Obama called on House Republicans to make reform a reality.
by Chris Casteel Modified: October 24, 2013 at 10:11 pm •  Published: October 25, 2013

Kris Steele, a Republican who served as speaker of the state House of Representatives, and Estela Hernandez, who coordinates outreach for the Oklahoma Republican Party, are also expected to come.

Wes Stucky, president of Development-Management of Ardmore, said in a news release that Oklahoma and the nation need “the labor and talent immigration reform can bring. We can't let this issue be captured by extremists on either side. Our congressmen and women need to know those working on the front line of job creation recognize the need for immigration reform.”

Both of Oklahoma's senators opposed the Senate bill, and none of the five Republicans who represent the state in the U.S. House have spoken in favor of it.

The House has not proposed its own legislation, but GOP leaders have indicated they won't use the Senate bill as a vehicle for immigration reform.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, was noncommittal this week when asked whether he would bring the issue to the House floor before year's end.

In his remarks on Thursday, Obama said everything in Washington “tends to be viewed through a political prism and everybody has been looking at the politics of this.

“And I know that there are some folks in this town who are primed to think, ‘Well, if Obama is for it, then I'm against it.' But I'd remind everybody that my Republican predecessor was also for it when he proposed reforms like this almost a decade ago, and I joined with 23 Senate Republicans back then to support that reform. I'd remind you that this reform won more than a dozen Republican votes in the Senate in June.”

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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