Oklahoma has new immigration legislation that will take effect November 1, called the toughest in the land. "Anyone who provides a job, shelter or public benefits to illegal aliens after Nov. 1 does so at their own peril," said Randy Terrill, author of the bill.
There were concerns that just driving a neighbor to church or picking up a child after school could land citizens in jail, but Terrill says this is not so.
But the legislation is already having effects, as Oklahoma schools report drops in Hispanic enrollment, and CNN reported yesterday that thousands of Hispanics are leaving Tulsa, many going back to Mexico.
While I assure you that I do not support allowing non-citizens to come across our borders unimpeded, I do not believe that squeezing undocumented people out by force or threat is the answer either.
I assume Oklahoma is like the rest of the country, including Alabama, in that hispanics (both legal and illegal) make up a good portion of the work force. In Alabama, at least, unemployment is at low levels, and I assume the same for OK. So don't tell me there are Americans waiting and willing to take the jobs that the Hispanics hold now.
I really hope Oklahoma learns a lesson and can not find workers for their construction industry, and other service industries that Hispanics work in. It would serve them right for attempting to solve a problem by ethnic cleansing. This is the term used to describe the efforts of the Ku Klux Klan regarding Hispanic immigrants in an editorial by John Davis of Athens and pubished in yesterday's Birmingham News. He examines the irony of the situation summed up in this statement, "Racial persecution, lamented by tens of thousands of bikers riding the Trail of Tears some mile and a half away, was celebrated by the Ku Klux Klan members who called for another ethnic cleansing of Hispanic immigrants." It's worth reading. Here
Denying children education or health care or other public services is morally wrong, and that is one of the effects of the Oklahoma legislation.
Isn't it ironic that the historical ethnic cleansing of Cherokee Indians and others ended with their relocation to Oklahoma, the same state that now wants to cleanse itself of unpopular Hispanics.
Hey here's an idea. Look for workable solutions to the immigration dilemma that keeps human dignity and respect for all people in the forefront. Within those parameters, a solution can be found.