Oklahoma Grants Police New Authority to Crack Down on Illegal Migrants

[Photo Credit: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons]

Tuesday, Republican Governor of Oklahoma Kevin Stitt has now ratified a measure that criminalizes unauthorized immigration as a state offense, carrying both monetary penalties and jail time.

Legislation grants Oklahoma law enforcement the authority to apprehend individuals who have unlawfully entered the United States.

The illegal immigrant would be convicted of an unlawful occupation and face a maximum prison sentence of one year in addition to a fine of $500, should they be convicted.

Additionally, the individual would be obligated to vacate the state within a span of 72 hours subsequent to either their acquittal or their release from custody, whichever event transpires subsequently.

A second offense, which is classified as a felony, carries a potential prison sentence of two years and a monetary fine of up to $1,000 for the unlawful immigrant.

The individual would once more be obligated to vacate the state within a span of 72 hours subsequent to their conviction or the completion of their incarceration period.

On July 1, the legislation, HB 4516, is scheduled to become effective. The bill was ratified 77–20 in the House and 39–8 in the Senate.

Analogous legislation has been enacted in states led by Republicans, including Iowa and Texas, only to encounter judicial opposition.

At this time, the law of Texas is undergoing a period of suspension as a federal appeals court deliberates on a challenge to its constitutionality.

The bill’s text stated that the proliferation of Chinese-backed marijuana plantations throughout the state was a contributing factor to its necessity.

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