Federal Judge Blocks Oklahoma Migrant Ban in Stand-off

(LibertySons.org) – Illegal immigration has exploded since President Joe Biden took over the Oval Office in 2021. In addition to human, drug, and weapons smuggling, the sheer number of migrants entering the US is putting a financial strain on states from Texas to New York to California. One that’s especially hard-hit is Oklahoma, so lawmakers decided to do something about it; they passed legislation to combat the problem. However, a federal judge has now blocked it from taking effect.

In April, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt (R) signed into law HB 4156. The law aims to protect “the health, safety, welfare, and constitutional rights of its citizens, authorized residents, and lawfully present visitors.” It also cites the increase in law enforcement engagement with illegal foreign nationals who are often involved in the drug trade or with human trafficking.

The law calls the crime of illegal migrants entering or residing in the state “impermissible occupation.” The misdemeanor offense could earn those found guilty a one-year jail sentence, a $500 fine, and deportation within 72 hours of conviction or from release of confinement. A second offense would be a felony.

However, it seems the new law ran afoul of the Justice Department (DOJ) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Both entities filed federal lawsuits to stop the ban. In May, the DOJ filed a complaint to assert that the Oklahoma law would countermand federal law and that the feds have jurisdiction over immigration issues.

Two days later, the ACLU and others, including one individual plaintiff who entered the country as a one-year-old some 20 years ago, filed a Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive, and Other Relief to block the new law. On June 5, the court consolidated the two cases.

On June 28, US District Court Judge Bernard M. Jones issued a ruling on the matter. The preliminary injunction was granted to the plaintiffs and Oklahoma is prohibited from enforcing the new law. Jones cited a recent Supreme Court decision in the case Arizona vs. United States. In this case, the SCOTUS ruled against Arizona’s law which is similar to the one in Oklahoma.

Unless the state of Oklahoma can prove to the federal court that it isn’t trying to usurp power from the federal government, the injunction is likely to stand.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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