Lawton_Many say Oklahoma's new illegal immigration law - House Bill 1804 - is the toughest in the country. Some businesses owners are struggling because they say they depend on illegal immigrant workers to keep things running; many churches have illegal immigrants as parishioners; and, police are overloaded with all the new regulations. 7News brought you these personal accounts from all walks of life.
But, we haven't heard the other side of the debate where there are some who believe this law's time has come and, in fact, is well overdue - until now.
7News has had a tough time finding those who agree with the law who are willing to talk about their views on the record. One person, however, had no problem expressing his views on this national debate and HB 1804. Dan Howard, of Tulsa, is a former Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper and is now the founder of an illegal immigration news web site. He is for HB 1804 and says it should have become a part of Oklahoma's law 30 years ago. "
"Come here legally - you're welcome; come here illegally, you're not welcome in Oklahoma," he says. "It's as simple as that." Howard is passionate about the bill and says Oklahoma has seen an increase of illegal immigrants over the past few years. Those who appose ask, ‘Why now?" and "What will this bill prove?" Howard has an answer.
"This law will show when the federal government won't do their job," he says. "Such as honoring article four, section four of the Constitution where each state is protected from invasion. We are under an invasion right now. Maybe they're not armed, but we are under an invasion," he says.
"Rule of Law is what our society is structured on," says Howard. "I don't blame them for wanting to come here but my advice is get back to your own country - have your own revolution; set up your own constitution; run your country without government corruption - and then we might go into trade agreement with you," he says. "But, until then it's not going to work."
"Just honor the Constitution," he says. "I don't have a problem with the color of their skin, what country they come from - this is about the Rule of Law and protecting our society, and keeping America from becoming a Third world Nation."
Howard thinks we may need a moratorium at the border until the illegal immigration influx is resolved and under more control. "We just need to get our country back we need to protect it. We need to protect our boarders like we protect Iraq's boarders," he says.
Many say it is not the case that illegal immigrants are taking American jobs, but Howard disagrees. "I've got friends in the construction businesses that are barely getting by," he says. "It's jobs that Americans won't do for sub-standard pay." And, he has some firm words for those who hire illegal immigrants. These big businesses that are hiring them should be ashamed," he says. "I call it slavery - just slavery light. They have freedom, but they're not even paying illegals enough to get by and support their families on - then when they employ these people they are taking jobs away from Americans.
Illegal immigrants are now barred, by law, to be employed in Oklahoma or receive state assistance. HB 1804 also makes it a felony offense to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. Howard is passionate about his beliefs and, perhaps, speaks for those who are in favor of this recent addition to Oklahoma's law.
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