Feds threaten to sue over OK bill

Feds threaten to sue over OK bill

Feds threaten to sue over OK bill

By Rep. RICK WEST 

The Biden Administration recently sent a letter to the governor and the state’s attorney general threatening to sue the state if we don’t promise to not enforce the newly signed House Bill 4156.

The legislation creates the crime of impermissible occupation, assessing fines and other penalties for those in Oklahoma who are in the United States illegally.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Oklahoma’s state law is preempted by federal law and violates the U.S. Constitution.

It says Oklahoma’s new law violates the federal prohibitions on unlawful entry and reentry.

Now that’s enough to snap your head around. Because the federal government prohibits unlawful entry and reentry … let’s just stop there for a minute and think about what is happening on our nation’s southern border, where thousands of people are pouring across every day with no documentation, no verification process, nothing.

What exactly is the federal government currently prohibiting? But the letter says because the feds have such prohibitions in place the states can’t? That just makes no sense.

The governor, the attorney general and the speaker of the House all sharply rebuked this letter. The speaker called it “laughable.”

The attorney general said the administration is ignoring Oklahoma’s sovereign right to protect its citizens from crimes such as drug, sex and labor trafficking that are a major threat to public safety.

We’ll have to see how the federal government proceeds, but this is just a disgrace.

At the same time, Senate Joint Resolution 23 has been filed and will hopefully be heard soon in both legislative chambers

. This proposes a constitutional amendment specifying that only U.S. citizens can vote in our elections. This measure that aims to clarify and secure voting rights for United States citizens in Oklahoma should be a no-brainer, but I bet we get outrage from the left on this.

If the resolution passes both chambers, it would be submitted to a vote by Oklahomans.

I agree with a colleague from the Senate, Sen. Shane Jett, who said, this is about protecting our elections and honoring the rights and responsibilities that come with citizenship.

In the meantime, House and Senate leadership finally reached a budget agreement.

In what they called an effort at transparency, the leadership of both chambers met multiple times to go line by line through the budget. Negotiations were livestreamed on Gov. Kevin Stitt’s YouTube channel, and they’re available if someone wants to go back and watch.

What was kind of funny to me were the number of whispered side conversations that happened by the folk who said they wanted the process to be transparent to the public. They also took breaks to huddle in private before coming back together for the public show.

his slowed down the process to the point that legislators and staff were told to prepare to meet on Memorial Day. The governor has said he’ll sign the budget legislation that comes forth. I’ll keep you posted.

As always, if I can help you with anything, feel free to call my Capitol office at (405) 557-7413 or email me at [email protected].  

Rick West serves District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of LeFlore County.


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