Duncan priest shares his view of new illegal immigration law


A Duncan Catholic church refuses to become take on the role of the police when it comes to Oklahoma's new immigration law.  Father Don Wolf says this law will cause an entire race to be consumed with fear, intimidation and pain.

Oklahoma's new immigration law went into effect November 1 and is considered the toughest illegal immigration law in the country.  It prevents illegal immigrants from receiving state benefits and gives police the power to detain the for deportation.

Today, hundreds of protesters gathered at the state capitol in Oklahoma City to rally against the law and some religious groups say they will ignore a provision that makes it a felony to harbor or transport undocumented people.

Father Wolf is the Pastor at Assumption Catholic Church and says for the past 30 years he's been around both documented and undocumented immigrants.  He says he's never seen so much fear and anxiety.

Andrea Millan has been a member of Assumption Catholic Church for 30 years as well and is a legal resident of the United States.  But, she says she worries for other Hispanics too.  "I feel very sad because we're talking about my people.  Because I have walked in there shoes," she says.

Father Wolf says his main concern has always been to help people.  He says a big part of his job is dealing with people's pain and this new law is creating much more of that.  "The state of Oklahoma doesn't have the power to change immigration law so it's made a series of laws that can do only one thing, which is to create misery among people," he says.

"Now, no one will ask me I look the part and sound the part.  But for someone who's skin isn't the same color of mine doesn't sound like me will be probably be asked to prove that they are," says Millan.  She says she has friends and knows members of the church who are terrified by this new law.  "They don't even know if they should come to church," she says.  "I'm happy to live in the United States but I feel very, very sad about this new law."

Father Wolf says the church assists those in need but this law isn't clear as to what they are responsible for.  He hopes all of their prayers will bring about change.  "The immigration process federally is simply broken," he says.  But he feels there is hope.  "I tell them to hold on, to wait, there may be another chance."