Here’s one excerpt from the law . . .
It shall be unlawful for any person to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection any alien in any place within the state of Oklahoma, including any building or means of transportation, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that the alien has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law.
And guess what. . . . if someone committed this “crime” they have commited a felony that is punishable by at least one year of prison and/or a fine of at least $1000!
Think about this for a second. If a church provides housing for a battered woman who happens to be undocumented, they’ve committed a crime. If a good Samaritan gives a ride to an elderly person who needs a ride to the doctor (who happens to be undocumented), they’ve committed a felony. What kind of fascist state are we living in when the works of mercy become crimes?!
Hispanic leaders vowed Tuesday to challenge the state’s new immigration law in court and to punish the lawmakers who enacted it at the polls.
“We will do everything within our constitutional means to defeat the intent of this law,â€ Ed Romo, a vice president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said at a hastily called news conference Tuesday night.
The bill would punish employers for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and prevent illegal immigrants from receiving state benefits, among other measures. The signing sends a message that Hispanics are not welcome in Oklahoma, Romo said.
“This is a loud message that we’re not really welcome.â€
Juanita Vasquez-Sykes, president of Oklahoma City LULAC, said the league will push voter registration and encourage new Hispanic voters to remember this day.
“We will remember the people who voted for 1804 and make that show in the polls,â€ she said.
The bill makes it illegal to knowingly harbor or transport an illegal immigrant, which could place churches that serve the immigrant community in danger of criminal charges, said Mauro Yanez, Spanish editor for the Catholic Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.
“I don’t want to see my people afraid to go to church,â€ Yanez said. “As a Catholic guy, I don’t want to see our priest tomorrow accused of harboring,â€ he said.
I agree with LULAC. This law must be resisted but I think it is time to go a step further. I will be asking my church to issue a statement of intent to defy this law and I hope many more churches will do the same. Certainly the law should be respected but not when it violates the higher laws of God. Jesus to love your neighbor and to take care of those who need help. He didn’t say to check their immigration status first.
I also think that those state legislators (like my own State Senator Andrew Rice) who voted for this bill as supposedly a means to water down otherwise bad legislation need to come out and say so publicly. I understand that legislative compromises are sometimes necessary but when it comes to straight up racist legislation that sends a message of hate, I think at the very least they can explain themselves publicly and better yet apologize to the people for giving into the haters.