Immigration law under fire in Oklahoma

By: Teddy Safo Email
By: Teddy Safo Email

ARDMORE, OK -- A controversial immigration law recently passed by Oklahoma Legislators is coming under fire again, this time by a man who says it's bad for business.

Oklahoma City labor law attorney Bill Wells says the immigration law passed in November not only hurts employers, it conflicts with federal law.

"What Oklahoma employers are running into is not only having to comply with federal law but also complying with state law. In some cases, the state law arguably is in conflict with or in violation with federal law," Wells explains.

Section 3 of Bill 1804 makes it illegal in the state of Oklahoma to knowingly hire, harbor, or transport an illegal alien, which makes it difficult for Ardmore contractor Lance Windel to hire employees.

"I use subcontractors a lot, and the subcontractor is not allowed to check their eligibility to work in the United States based on federal law. Now state law is saying I have to check it," Windel says.

The new immigration law could also affect Windel because he is a landlord. Windel says now if he rents to an illegal alien, he could be committing a crime.

"The state law is telling me now if I’m harboring them I’m committing a felony. The feds say I can’t check; the state says if you’re doing it you’re committing a felony. I’m stuck."

Windel says now he has to choose which law to ignore, a choice Wells says local employers should not have to make.

"They're at a loss at what to do. If I comply with state law I’m potentially in violation of federal law or vice versa, and it’s a real nightmare because it’s having to choose the lesser of two evils," Wells says.

Both Wells and Windel encourage other employers to ask lawmakers to amend the state law.

In the meantime, Wells says if employers are worried they may be violating any law they should seek legal advice to see if they are in compliance, since each case is different.

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  • by Boyd Location: lamar,ok on Feb 24, 2009 at 03:41 PM
    I think it is a good law. Nobody should hire illegals for any reason, and now is even worse. With all the people out of work, we have to pay for their medical,driving without license or insurance and all the reports I have read that in this country, that up to 30% of all crimes are illegals. I am not speaking of just mexican people I am talking about all illegals. If this contractor would pay better wages he could find workers!
  • by Let;s March Location: Durant on Feb 25, 2008 at 12:05 PM
    hey everybody !!! I here that there is a young man that is sitting in the Durant county jail because his girlfriend and her mom heard that they were going to be deported. so the girlfriend and mother heard that if they had a case pending in the states that they wouldn't be deported. So they lied and said that the boyfriend kidnapped her. Why don't we as UNITED STATES citizens help this kid and start speaking up for him. Lets contact the State Representive and fight for his rights. Cause guess what this could happen to all of our children. The illegals live here in Durant. So let's stand up for our own. I don't know this kid's family but maybe someone out there does. Let's try to contact them and give them our support. By the way go to amd type in "calvin sterling" and read those comments under that article. It is crazy.
  • by Fed Up Location: Denison on Feb 12, 2008 at 08:36 AM
    Several of you are missing the point and trying to make this a racial issue. The bottom line is those who came here in violation of our law need to leave. I don't care if you're silver from Klatu if you entered this country illegally I have a problem with that and simply put, YOU'RE NOT WELCOME HERE! Do it the right way and I'll bend over backwards to help you.
  • by m Location: anonymous on Feb 11, 2008 at 12:05 PM
    Hey anonymous on 2/9, you used God and SOB in the same sentence. That is so religiously correct! Good job!!
  • by Anonymous Location: Texas on Feb 11, 2008 at 09:26 AM
    hispanics are people too, what makes them different from anyone else. Americans take advantage of the aid that the government gives, such as EBT, if you have money to spend on other luxury items, you must have money to provide for you family. Every man for themselves. Americans also use WIC, every race uses it. Hispanics work day and night just to provide a meal for their family, we hispanics are not taking the jobs away from Americans, we are more motivated, the jobs are out there, open to anyone, its a matter of willingness.
  • by Anonymous Location: Wilson on Feb 11, 2008 at 08:19 AM
    I fell that if they come here and do what they need to do to become a citizen then they can stay, if they don't them they need to leave.
  • by Obama Supporter Location: Oklahoma on Feb 10, 2008 at 07:10 PM
    If you people would vote Obama in November, he will take care of this infestation for you. Bush wont do it, cause he'd have to send his sister-in-law back to Cuba!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 9, 2008 at 09:09 AM
    snobs whats wrong do you think the hispanic is getting your welfare,I thought everyone was GODS people are SOB's
  • by prd Location: Texas on Feb 8, 2008 at 08:46 PM
    Get the people that are sucking welfare to death and hire them!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 8, 2008 at 06:37 PM
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