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Memo From Mexico (About Oklahoma) | Oklahoma's H.B. 1804 And The Clerics Trying To Subvert It
Somebody needs to.
The latest law—said by some to be the toughest yet—has just come into effect in my home state, Oklahoma. It's the famous/infamous H.B. 1804, the Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizenship Protection Act of 2007, authored by state legislator Randy Terrill, who was interviewed on the Terry Anderson show on November 4th.
It allows the local police to enforce immigration law. That doesn't mean that Oklahoma police are going to be going door to door ferreting out illegals. But if a policeman, in the normal course of his duties, detains an individual for a felony or drunk driving, the lawman is authorized to check the detainee's immigration status, and, if illegal, to contact immigration authorities.
Of course, this is still milder than Mexican immigration law. Here, policemen are absolutely required to enforce immigration law. But, in many ways, the U.S. still has a ways to go before it matches up to Mexico.
H.B. 1804 was already having an effect months before it came into force November 1st. Directly after the law's passage, it scared thousands of illegal aliens, euphemistically called "Hispanics" in the Mainstream Media [MSM], into leaving Oklahoma—some for greener pastures in the U.S., some for Mexico.
This effect is confirmed by what I've also picked up on the grapevine here in Mexico.
A middle-class friend of ours said her middle class brother, an illegal alien in Oklahoma, was coming back to Mexico because of 1804.
Plus my Mexican sister-in-law in Oklahoma is legal, speaks English and isn't committing crimes, so she's not afraid of 1804. But an illegal alien acquaintance of hers said she was planning to move to another (U.S.) state because of it.
All before the law took effect.
If a law can scare people into doing the right thing, isn't that better for everybody?
It still remains to be seen how 1804 will be implemented statewide, throughout Oklahoma's 77 counties. Some police forces downplay it, some may not cooperate, and funding may be a problem.
But Tulsa County is already a step ahead. According to an article in the Oklahoma media,
"Tulsa County is the only county in the state that has a partnership with Immigration, Customs and Enforcement to track the immigration status of people arrested for crimes, Undersheriff Brian Edwards said. ICE agents are at the county jail and assist with deportation proceedings for illegal immigrants jailed for crimes. The county has been checking immigration status since June, Edwards said. Thirty Tulsa County deputies have been trained to aid in immigration enforcement…" [Officers see few changes from law, NewsOK.com, By Ron Jackson and Julie Bisbee, November 3, 2007]
Tulsa County is leading the way, and hopefully more counties will follow its example. In the meantime, 1804 is the law for the entire state.
Unsurprisingly, the law is also under legal attack—heretofore unsuccessful.
One of the arguments against the law is that it will split up families. [Hundreds protest new law, By Angel Riggs, Tulsa World, November 2, 2007]
The Oklahoma Catholic Church opposes the law, and even before it took effect, promised to disobey it. [Church Resists Anti-Immigration Law - Oklahoma City News Story - KOCO Oklahoma City
(Full disclosure: Back in 1990, I was briefly employed by Catholic Social Services, imparting an English/Civics class to Mexicans amnestied in 1986. I was instructed not to answer any questions about immigration status. That was before I moved to Mexico and became an immigration reform patriot.)
On the Protestant side, a national organization called CONLAMIC (National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders) [Email them] is fighting the law and still engaged in legal action against it.
What kind of a group is CONLAMIC?
Its platform indicates that it supports a social conservative agenda but also pushes for amnesty and Hispanic identity politics.
But its public activism indicates the group is more interested in agitating for amnesty and against enforcement of the law than in opposing abortion and gay marriage.
As I've stated before, just because Hispanic activists are Protestants doesn't mean they support U.S. immigration law.
Some of the biggest subverters of the law are Hispanic Evangelical pastors.
Miguel Rivera, leader of CONLAMIC flew in from New Jersey to fight against the H.B. 1804, assisted by Oklahoma Hispanic pastor Victor Orta.
In this photo you can see both playing their dramatic roles at a press conference: Miguel Rivera with his disgusted, indignant look, and Orta with an angry expression.
These guys are just incensed that the state of Oklahoma would have the gall to enforce the law.
In regards to the portion of 1804 that prohibits the transport of illegal aliens, Rivera defiantly promised that
"We are going to continue transporting our fellow Latinos no matter their status."
When Rivera says such things, he's not speaking as an American citizen. Nor is he speaking as a Christian leader.
Miguel Rivera had these harsh words to say to Oklahoma:
"You are guilty of ethnic cleansing in this community. You are going against my community. That's my people, my Latino friends and family, who aren't afraid of your words, who aren't afraid of your actions."[Lou Dobbs Transcript, November 1, 2007]
Well, thanks for clearing that up, "Pastor" Rivera. "Your community" is not the United States of America then, is it? Your community is "your Latino friends and family" and you don't care what U.S. law is. You're utilizing your position as a clergyman to subvert our law.
On the CONLAMIC website, Rivera even has the gall to say that "Faith obliges us to defy the laws of man, and obey the law of God. The Latin Christian Church is the only refuge that our people have at this time."[La Fe nos obligara a desafiar las leyes de los hombres, y obedecer la Ley de Dios. La Iglesia Latina Cristiana es el único refugio que nuestra gente tiene en esta hora.]
On the bright side, all this anti-1804 rhetoric being spewed by Rivera and other activists indicates that they are worried. They are worried that the U.S. might begin enforcing the law again. Why do you think they flew Rivera in from New Jersey to lambast a bunch of Okies?
Because they fear H.B. 1804 will be successful—and be a model to other states.
Bravo to Representative Terrill and all the other Oklahomans who fought for this law.
You make this Okie in Mexico proud of our state. Keep up the good work.
American citizen Allan Wall ( email him) resides in Mexico, with a legal permit issued him by the Mexican government. Allan recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq with the Texas Army National Guard. His VDARE.COM articles are archived here; his FRONTPAGEMAG.COM articles are archived here his "Dispatches from Iraq" are archived here his website is here.