State Rep. Randy Terrill maintains a federal judge is incorrect in her ruling that halts part of the state’s immigration law that he authored from taking effect.
A presidential executive order issued this week seems to be contrary to last week’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron, says Terrill, R-Moore.
Cauthron’s ruling halted implementing the private employer provisions of the immigration law, House Bill 1804, which legislators passed last year.
Cauthron ruled that “federal law prohibits use of the Status Verification Systems to verify employment eligibility.”
President Bush this week issued Executive Order 12829, which requires anyone contracting with the federal government to use the E-verify system, Terrill says.
Bush’s order, he says, stated, “It is the policy of the executive branch to enforce fully the immigration laws of the United States, including the detection and removal of illegal aliens and the imposition of legal sanctions against employers that hire illegal aliens” and noted that E-verify “provides the best available means to confirm the identity and work eligibility of all employees that join the Federal workforce.”
“It was clear from the very beginning that Judge Cauthron’s ruling was inconsistent with recent decisions in other similar cases, most notably in Missouri and Arizona,” says Terrill, who has said he is confident his measure will withstand legal challenges. “Now President Bush’s executive order makes it obvious the judge’s ruling was wrong and should be overturned.”
Cauthron ruled sections of HB 1804 interfere with federal rules regarding the hiring of unauthorized workers. In granting the injunction, she said a pending lawsuit against the law has “a substantial likelihood of success.”
Cauthron agreed to prevent enforcement of parts of the new immigration law that require companies to verify the eligibility status of new employees. Those provisions were scheduled to take effect on July 1.
The judge denied the state’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
“One by one, the criticisms of House Bill 1804 are being dismantled and it’s becoming clear opponents of the law have just one goal – the continued exploitation of cheap illegal alien slave labor to drive down the wages paid to Oklahoma citizens,” Terrill says. “Oklahoma can do better and we will when Judge Cauthron’s poorly reasoned decision is overturned.”
- Michael McNutt, Capitol Bureau