October 31, 2007

Oklahoma Judge Dismisses CONLAMIC Request for Injunction Against HB-1804

Tulsa, Oklahoma – Today, Federal District Court Judge Payne dismissed the request for an injunction made by the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund) to stop the implementation of HB -1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act, the most damaging anti-immigrant legislation in the United States.

“We are saddened that Judge Payne does not sense the urgency we feel to stop the implementation of HB-1804. Nevertheless, we respect Judge Payne’s decision,” said Reverend Miguel Rivera, President of the National Coalition of Latino Clergy & Christian Leaders (CONLAMIC).

“Judge Payne has not dismissed the lawsuit. It’s active and will be addressed in court next Thursday as we respond to the courts request for more evidence of HB-1804’s unconstitutionality,” said William Sanchez, President of CONLAMIC Legal Defense Fund.

“Our hope is to have a full trial on the merits of our case, which will flesh out the issue of the unconstitutionality of HB-1804,” said Mr. Sanchez.

“This ruling is certain to have serious and negative implications for Oklahoma’s immigrant community – as we have already seen by increase of hostility, division in communities, and racial profiling by local law enforcement,” added Rev. Rivera.

HB-1804 is the most severe and frivolous anti-immigrant state law to be put into place in the nation. Oklahoma is certain to see the departure of immigrants from its state as people move to more tolerant communities.

“We predict that in the longer term, Oklahoma’s economy and growth will suffer as a result of this law. There are no facts to back up Rep. Terrill’s claims that undocumented immigrants are a burden on the state, instead, there is much to show that immigrants both legal and undocumented contribute a great deal in tax and revenue,” said Rev. Rivera.

HB-1804 was brought forward by State Representative Randy Terrill last year along with his claims that ‘economic hardship and lawlessness by undocumented people’ but was unable to provide data to back up his claims.

This battle is without merit because of the fact that undocumented Immigrants in Oklahoma use less than 1% of public services – 99.31% of public services are used by legal residents only (Oklahoma Department of Labor 2006).

It’s common knowledge that immigrants move to communities to obtain jobs not taxpayer subsidy. Terrill has been misinforming Oklahoma’s citizens.

As HB-1804 goes into affect tonight at midnight, our state leaders will be tracking racial profiling reports and will continue to work with plaintiffs who are unjustly harmed by the implementation of HB-1804.

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