Sunday, April 22, 2007

Off the mark: Immigration bill mostly a feel-good
Henry should veto the bill

[Today's editorial is straight up on supporting a veto by Governor Brad Henry on Randy Terrill's awful bill to turn Oklahoma into a vigilante state. There's nothing warm and fuzzy about Terrill who is known for his bragging, arrogance, and raw ambition. Read the editorial below:]

The Oklahoman Editorial

Rep. Randy Terrill gets awfully excited at the idea that Oklahoma may soon be home to the nation's toughest illegal immigration laws. A little too excited, perhaps.

That's part of the problem we've witnessed with the state-level debate over illegal immigration the past two years. Lawmakers know that Oklahomans are riled up over the issue. They worry that too many taxpayer dollars are being spent on health care and other benefits for people not in our country legally. And many believe that illegal immigrants are literally stealing jobs from their citizen neighbors, even though it's clear the domestic labor pool is often shallow.

So with much pomp and circumstance, Terrill, R-Moore, and other supporters of the proposed law are vowing a major crackdown. The Senate passed an amended version of the bill, and we expect the measure will soon be on the governor's desk. Gov. Brad Henry should go against public opinion and veto the bill.

Immigration is a federal issue. As we've said before, stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into our country requires a national solution — not a patchwork of state and local laws.

The Senate version of the bill is certainly more reasonable than previous renditions. It protects illegal immigrants who are attending college at in-state tuition rates, and fine tunes the process to make sure future students receiving that benefit are seeking citizenship. The amended bill also narrowed provisions that would land employers in legal hot water if they keep on illegal immigrants while firing citizens who do largely the same job.

Even if this bill is signed and Oklahoma carries the torch as a leader in immigration reform, we're not sure it would do much besides cause more problems. Businesses — particularly small businesses — still stand to suffer if they can't find enough legal residents to fill jobs, particularly those in domestic labor. Businesses specializing in physical labor (construction, landscaping, etc.) that balk at the law's requirements will find themselves all but shut out of doing business with the state.

The federal government has done us all a disservice in acting too slowly to curb illegal immigration and failing to fix a system that takes too long for those seeking legal entry. But a state bill that will be hard to enforce and is likely to cause even more problems is no better.

Henry's signature would give Terrill and other lawmakers the chance to brag to constituents that they did something about illegal immigration. That may make Oklahomans feel good, but it's the job of lawmakers and governors to make good laws — not give us warm fuzzies.

1 comment:

vernon t. waldrup said...

I agree. Immigration IS a federal issue, but what amazes me about you stupid libs is that YOU get excited about spending my hard-earned tax dollars supporting ILLEGAL immigrants. What part of ILLEGAL do you not understand?

Illegal (Black's Law Dictionary)-Forbidden by law; unlawful.

Do any of you honestly believe the rhetoric that comes out of your mouth? Honestly? Do you seriously believe that it is okay for people to come into our country illegally, recieve federal and state benefits, medical care and education without helping to foot the bill?

I just cannot understand the logic behind such a notion. Please help me understand exactly what about that idiocy makes sense to you. I have to know.